Vatican Child Porn Scandal: Jozef Wesolowski Accused Of Storing Tens Of Thousands Of Videos And Photos

The Vatican is facing a child porn scandal after former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was accused of storing tens of thousands of illicit videos and photos featurng children.

The 66-year-old Wesolowski was arrested earlier this week at the Vatican, making him the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for child sex abuse. He is charged with sexually abusing minors and possessing child pornography.

Investigators within the Vatican analyzed a computer that Jozef Wesolowski used in his Santo Domingo home, where he served as Holy See envoy from 2008 to 2012.

Investigators found more than 100,000 files showing underage children in sexually explicit situations, Il Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. Close to 160 videos showed teenage boys were forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and adults, the newspaper reported.

It appears that Wesolowski may have tried to destroy some of the evidence. Investigators said that at least 45,000 other photos were deleted.

They are now trying to determine if Jozef Wesolowski may have went beyond just possessing and storing photos and videos. Investigators are looking into whether others may have arranged sexual encounters, and whether Wesolowski may have committed other abuses beyond the Vatican.

Wesolowski had been recalled to Rome by the Vatican earlier this year when he was living on Santo Domingo after accusations of pedophilia surfaced in the Dominican media. He had been living freely in Rome while alleged victims of sexual abuse called for his arrest.

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Wesolowski has remained free from jail, living under house arrest in an apartment due to medical reasons.

Pope Francis has vowed to come down hard on sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, saying the Church should “weep and make reparation” for crimes that he said more resembled a sacrilegious cult.

If convicted of possessing child porn, Jozef Wesolowski could face up to seven years in prison and would serve his sentence in a tiny jail cell within the Vatican. His trial is slated to start in early 2015.

[Image via VaticanCrimes.us]