Former US priest sentenced to 30 years after spending more than 20 years in Morocco

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Former US chaplain Arthur Perrault sentenced to 30 years. / Ph. DR

A former US chaplain and Roman Catholic priest, who fled the United States and hid in Morocco for 20 years, was sentenced, Friday, to 30 years in prison after an American court found him guilty of «sexually abusing an altar boy», American news agency Associated Press reports.

The case of Arthur Perrault, who was sentenced by a New Mexico court, was described as the «worst case of child sex abuse» U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez has «handled over the course of 26 years».

«There are few acts more horrific than the long-term sexual abuse of a child», U.S. Attorney John Anderson said in a statement relayed by Reuters. «At long last, today’s sentence holds Perrault accountable for his deplorable conduct», he added.

Perrault’s victim told court that the former chaplain, who «showered him with gifts and trips», sexually assaulted him when he was 9 years old.

The 9-year-old altar boy was not the only victim of this priest. According to the British news agency, «prosecutors alleged in court filings that Perrault was a serial child molester who abused numerous young people over more than 30 years as a priest in New Mexico and Rhode Island».

After spending 25 years in the Kingdom of Morocco, Perrault was extradited, in September 2018, to the United States of America. The Catholic priest, who was on the run since 1992 has been found and arrested by the Moroccan authorities on October 12, 2017.

In Morocco, Perrault lived in Tangier, where he became an English teacher at a local American school. Despite child abuse accusations, he was very close to children at the American Language Center in Tangier.

Laid off after the outbreak of the case, the American national spent nearly a year in a Moroccan prison.

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