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Australia arrests priest on pedophilia charges

Updated at: 04/22/2013 2:05 AM
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(AP) MELBOURNE, Australia - Australian police arrested a Roman Catholic priest on pedophilia charges Monday, following months of negotiations to have him returned from the Vatican.

A police statement said the 67-year-old priest, whose name has not been made public, presented himself at Victoria state police headquarters in Melbourne on Monday.

The priest was charged with 10 counts of child abuse allegedly committed in Melbourne’s outskirts between 1976 and 1985. He was released on bail and will appear before a magistrate on Friday.

Police said they had been negotiating with the Catholic Church since July 2012 to have him returned to Australia.

The priest is the latest person to be charged in Victoria after state police set up a specialist taskforce in November last year to deal with allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy.

An increasing number of victims have become forward due to the state’s current parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse by religious and other organizations.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)