The case of “inappropriate sexual conduct” against Father Pierino Gelmini in Italy entered a new stage as three new accusations of “inappropriate sexual conduct” against the 82 year-old priest were presented.
Six former residents of the rehabilitation centers that have made Father Gelmini into an icon for drug addiction recovery in Italy presented their accusations of “kissing and improper contact,” unleashing a series of media reports, with some painting the founder of the “Incontro” communities as guilty and others calling it a “media lynching” provoked by former residents expelled from the centers for stealing who are seeking revenge.
The case of the Italian priest is now in the hands of procurator Carlo Maria Scipio, whose office has been accused of leaking information to the press before a decision has been made on whether the case merits a trial. That decision is expected to be made on September 15.
Last weekend three new accusations came to light, which Father Gelmini’s lawyer, Lanfranco Frezza, described as “foolishness.”
Frezza noted that none of the accusations against the priest were of sexual assault, as some media reports have said. Regarding the ten accusations against Father Gelmini, Frezza told the Italian news agency ADNkronos, “It’s enough to read (the accusations) to see that they are complete folly, to see that they are totally unfounded and lack all credibility.”
In a recent interview with Vatican Radio, Father Gelmini said he was innocent but that he was “willing to carry this cross if I must do so, for Christ.”