Priest commits suicide over sexual assault claim

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A 38-year-old French priest, Jean-Baptiste Sebe in a town in northern France committed suicide in his church after being accused of molesting a girl, local prosecutors and police sources told AFP on Wednesday.

Jean-Baptiste Sebe killed himself on Tuesday in the church in Rouen amid allegations from a local mother that her daughter had been a victim of “indecent behaviour and sexual assault,” a police source said.

The man was 38 years old. He has been a member of the Saint-Jean XXIII church since September 2013, as indicated on the website of the Rouen diocese.

As a holder of a DEUG history, he was ordained a priest in 2005. According to Bishop Lebrun, Jean-Baptiste Sebe knew “a difficult moment”. But the archbishop also entrusted his “incomprehension” in his letter in the face of a final gesture.

Local prosecutor Etienne Thieffry confirmed that an investigation was underway into “the exact reasons for the suicide” at the St. Jean XXIII church.

The Catholic Church has been shaken by a string of paedophile scandals over the past 25 years.

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