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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sanok. The catechist allegedly hit the child. There may be more victims

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More students will be questioned in a case concerning “violation of bodily integrity” by a catechist teaching in one of the primary schools in Sanok (Podkarpacie). The priest allegedly hit the student because he was moving his guitar. The teacher has not been charged so far, but has been suspended from his duties.

The student involved in the investigation was interviewed on April 18. In addition to him, four students were interrogated. All of them have the status of victims in the case.

As Izabela Jurkowska-Hanus, District Prosecutor in Sanok, told us, the prosecutor handling the case decided to submit requests to the court to interview another four students. – It is possible that there will be further hearings – Jurkowska-Hanus told us. She added that 20 people had already been questioned in the case. The prosecutor's office does not provide information about the age and gender of the minors.

Interrogations – in accordance with the regulations relating to the conduct of activities with minors under 15 years of age – take place in the presence of a psychologist. An opinion is prepared from each interrogation and sent to the prosecutor's office.

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Investigators still say little about the investigation itself, relying on the welfare of the injured children and the nature of the proceedings. It is known for certain that the proceedings are based on Article 217 of the Civil Code. 1 of the Penal Code, which concerns violation of inviolability.

§ 1. Whoever hits a person or otherwise violates his bodily integrity shall be subject to a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to one year.

Read also: The priest shouted and pressed the student to the bench. The court wanted to fine him

Investigation due to “important public interest”

The investigation into this matter is being conducted by the District Prosecutor's Office in Sanok. As its head, Izabela Jurkowska-Hanus, told us, it was initiated on March 15 after a notification submitted to the prosecutor's office on March 8 by the principal of the school where the priest had recently been a catechist.

An investigation into a violation of inviolability – which is initiated by a private prosecution, in this case was initiated in connection with a “public complaint” due to “important public interest”.

The incident itself took place at the end of November last year. It did not take place on school premises, but “in another place, however, in connection with activities related to the education of minors,” Jurkowska-Hanus told us.

However, she did not reveal what place she was talking about, only that there was a “meeting with young people” there and that it was located in Sanok.

The district prosecutor also emphasized that the investigation was initiated because of an incident that took place in November, but investigators are also investigating others.

The prosecutor's office does not reveal any details about these events.

Read also: Nun accused of child abuse

No one was charged

The catechist has not yet been questioned. The investigation is ongoing in the case, not against the person, which means no one has been charged yet.

– Only when we receive the interrogation reports, and in particular the expert opinions, will the prosecutor decide on changing the forms of proceedings – explained Jurkowska-Hanus.

Read also: They are scrubbing the floor in the church in front of the nun. “Children are, so to speak, exploited”

Teacher suspended

The principal of the school where the catechist was employed claims that she learned about the case in March this year.

– After receiving the information, the school took action, as a result of which the teacher was suspended from his duties as of April 11, 2024, and due to the situation, additional psychological and pedagogical assistance was implemented – the principal told us.

She added that the case is also under investigation before the disciplinary commission for teachers of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship.

– Due to ongoing proceedings and the welfare of the children, I cannot provide details on this matter. I will add that all actions have been implemented at the school in accordance with the procedures, she assured.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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