Latin America & Caribbean

Puerto Rico arrests priest charged of child sexual abuse

Catholic priest Israel Berrios is escorted by US agents on May 13, 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Israel Berrios (centre) is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy

US federal authorities in Puerto Rico have arrested a Roman Catholic priest on charges of sexual abuse of minors.

Israel Berrios, 58, is the first priest to be detained over charges of this kind in Puerto Rico, a US territory.

He is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy and faces a minimum of 10 years in jail if found guilty.

His arrest is part of a wider investigation into sexual abuse allegations by several priests in the Caribbean island.

Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda alleged Mr Berrios initially gave money, a computer and a camera to the boy, who is now 21, and also took him on a cruise.

"All this began with the seduction of material things," Mr Miranda is quoted as saying by AP news agency.

The priest was serving in the Diocese of Caguas, a city south of the capital San Juan.

But he was defrocked by the Church after the allegations first emerged last year.

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