Sentenced to seven years for the rape of a juvenile altar boy, former priest Paweł K., who finished his sentence in September and left prison, will remain at large. The prison director and the prosecutor requested that the man be placed in the National Center for the Prevention of Dissocial Behavior in Gostynin. The court first rejected this request, but ordered preventive supervision and therapy. Now – dismissed the prosecutor’s complaint against this decision.
Father Paweł K. was a vicar and catechist, incl. in parishes in Wrocław and Bydgoszcz, where he looked after altar servers. He was in trouble with the law for the first time in 2005 when he was arrested and heard allegations of possession of child pornography as well as attempting to persuade minors to have sex. Ultimately, he was sentenced only to the first of these charges to a prison sentence suspended for five years. The church hierarchs then neither suspended him from his priestly ministry nor made the decision to remove him from youth work.
In December 2012, K. was caught red-handed. The staff of one of the hotels in Wrocław drew attention to a middle-aged man who appeared there from time to time in the company of underage boys. He brought a 13-year-old altar boy over the holiday season. The receptionist notified the police. A camera and child pornography were found next to the priest.
Three years later priest K. was sentenced to seven years in prison for a number of sexual crimes. It was only in May 2019 that the canonical proceedings against him were completed, and the man was expelled from the clergy.
Paweł K. was one of the negative heroes the famous documentary “Just don’t tell anyone” by brothers Tomasz and Marek Sekielski.
A document by the Sekielski brothers on pedophilia in the Polish Church
Paweł K. never pleaded guilty. He did not agree with the allegations and presented his own version of the events. In the psychological and penitentiary assessment, the expert indicated that the inmate was dangerous and required treatment.
Before the end of K.’s sentence in Prison No. 1 in Wrocław, both the director of the prison and the prosecutor’s office requested that the former clergyman be placed in the National Center for the Prevention of Dissocial Behavior in Gostynin. There are the most dangerous criminals from all over Poland who have finished serving their sentences, but according to the court, they can threaten the life, health and sexual freedom of other people in freedom, and the probability of returning to a criminal life is – in their case – very high.
The application for the placement of Paweł K. in the center in Gostynin was assessed by expert psychiatrists, psychologist and sexologist. In their opinion, there is a high probability of committing a prohibited act with the use of sexual violence.
A pedophile priest at large
In early September, Sylwia Jastrzemska, spokeswoman for the District Court in Wrocław, announced the court’s decision in this case. The latter decided that the former priest, after serving his sentence, would not be sent to the center in Gostynin. Paweł K., however, was considered a dangerous person and is to continue treatment on an outpatient basis.
The court also decided that after K. was released he would be under preventive supervision – he would have to inform the police about his place of residence, employment and departures. In addition, he will have to participate in therapy for sex offenders and treatment of mixed personality disorders at the Center for Environmental Psychiatry in Zabrze. His DNA, fingerprints and photos will remain in police databases.
The prosecutor’s request was dismissed
Paweł K.’s sentence ended on September 22. The decision on the basis of which he was released was not final. Two days later, the pages received a 20-page justification.
The spokeswoman for the district court explained what the court was guided by in its decision. The experts stated that K. should not be imprisoned in Gostynin, among other things, because he is intelligent and has self-control. It poses a high level of risk, not a very high level. He was also guided by his attitude – he was supposed to be an exemplary prisoner and abide by the rules.
– The court was guided by the law, not social pressure – emphasized Jastrzemska.
On October 8, the prosecutor’s office appealed to the court. The prosecutor did not agree with the court’s decision. On Monday (November 15), Paweł K’s appeal hearing was held, in camera. After it was over, journalists were informed that the court’s decision would be announced a day later at 15.00
On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal in Wrocław dismissed the motion submitted by the prosecutor’s office to refer the former priest to a closed center. In the justification, the court noted that Paweł K. had already served the sentence and that he could not be punished again. There would have to be a high probability of him committing a crime. The court stated that the experts had found that he was not a dissocial person, but had the characteristics of an immature person.
Main photo source: tvn24