Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

Vatican arrests ex-archbishop, will hold first ever child sex abuse criminal trial

The Vatican said Tuesday that it has arrested defrocked Polish ex-Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and will try him on charges of child sexual abuse. Wesolowski, a former Holy See ambassador, is accused of paying street boys for sex acts while serving as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic. A Vatican cannon law tribunal laicized him in June after finding him guilty of child abuse. This will be the Vatican's first criminal trial for sex abuse.

Wesolowski, 66 and reportedly in poor health, was placed under house arrest rather than in the Vatican's small jail to await his trial. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in jail — though it's not clear where, since Vatican City doesn't have any long-term holding facility. Both Poland and the Dominican Republic want to put Wesolowski on trial, too. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi called the arrest and trial "a result of the express desire of the pope, so that a case so serious and delicate would be addressed without delay, with just and necessary rigor."