American Ex-Priest in East Timor Guilty of Sex Crimes

A court in East Timor has sentenced Richard Daschbach, the defrocked American priest, to 12 years in prison on Tuesday after he was found guilty of sexually abusing several orphaned girls in his orphanage.

Jurídico Social, the human rights law firm that represented the nine victims in the case, applauded the verdict but said the sentence failed “to reflect the gravity of the case and the actual practice of courts.”

“The prison sentence handed down by the court will not remove the suffering and the scar left on the victims. The guilty verdict and its sentence will not restore the happy youth days the girls have lost,” the victims’ lawyers said.

Meanwhile, Washington said that Daschbach’s sentence was “hugely significant” and that the guilty verdict “could become a catalyst for further cases, for further victims of sexual abuse to come forward.”

Following an investigation by the FBI in August, Daschbach was also charged by US authorities with seven counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place. 

If convicted, Daschbach could receive up to 30 years in prison for each count, but the Department of Justice has not said whether it plans to try to extradite the ex-priest.

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