Lyon, France, Jan 15, 2020 / 19:01 pm
Bernard Preynat, a former priest of the Archdiocese of Lyon, is on trial before a civil court in France. He has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of minors between 1971 and 1991; he was found guilty by an ecclesiastical tribunal last year.
Allegations against Preynat, 74, became public in 2015. Prosecutors dropped the case the following year after an initial investigation, but a victims' group with more than 80 members who say they were abused by Preynat led to a reopening of the case.
Preynat led a scouting camp until 1991, when parents accused him of abuse to the Lyon-Vienne archdiocese. He was then banned from leading scouting groups, but remained in ministry until being removed by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon in 2015.
Cardinal Barbarin was convicted by a French civil court in March 2019 on charges of failing to report the allegations against Preynat.