Bernard Preynat, former priest, here at the opening of his trial on Tuesday in Lyon. - Konrad / Sipa
- Prosecutor Dominique Sauves demanded this Friday in Lyon at least eight years in prison against Bernard Preynat.
- Tried since Tuesday, three decades after numerous sexual abuses, the former priest "broke" the lives of his victims, Scouts then aged 7 to 15 years, according to the prosecutor.
“Thank goodness we are there. It is with this formula that the prosecutor Dominique Sauves began his closing argument this Friday, targeting Bernard Preynat. The ex-priest, defrocked last summer at the end of his canonical judgment, remained impassive, frozen in his chair and looking straight ahead, as during the whole audience. "This extraordinary, emblematic case deserves a firm criminal response that cannot stop for the benefit of age," said the magistrate before the Lyon court.
This required at least eight years in prison against Bernard Preynat, tried three decades after the facts for a case of sexual abuse which became a symbol of the Church's omerta in France on pedophilia. "Bernard Preynat is nothing but a serial pedophile, who is overwhelmed only by the gaze of others, who speaks only of him," says Dominique Sauves.
"It is his third role, that of the repentant"
"The mask fell on the man you are, the man you have been," the prosecutor also said to the 74-year-old defendant, accusing him of having "broken" the lives of his victims, scouts aged 7 to 15 at the time of the crime. But also to have "used the silence of the parents and the silence of the Church" to multiply his abuses between 1971 and 1991. At the helm, this man, always imposing, carrying a white beard, has asked "pardon" to the nine men who came to testify about their suffering, many others who could not complain because of the prescription. But it was a “mechanical” pardon, without manifest empathy, which therefore did not convince the civil parties, Bernard Preynat often seeking to minimize the alleged acts.
The “rotten and shitty life” of the victims mentioned during the Preynat trial https://t.co/8m8fDAcKDi- 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) January 15, 2020
"There is always a word that annoys us," summed up a lawyer. "He listened to the sufferings of the victims but he did not hear them," added the prosecutor. The serial abuser, whose number of potential victims was as high as "four or five children" a week during summer camps, revealed during his trial that he himself was assaulted during his childhood. But that did not convince the civil parties either. "Preynat is a liar," accused Yves Sauvayre on Friday, for whom the former parish priest played here "his third role, that of the repentant".
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- Bernard Preynat