A Colombian congressman and priest came under fire Sunday after a report he and his brother have been sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy since the victim was 13.
According to the alleged victim quoted in a column of prominent journalist Daniel Coronell, coalition Congressman Jaime Alonso Vasquez and his brother, priest Carlos Fernando Vasquez, had sex with the boy over the past three years.
The alleged sexual abuse began when the victim was 13 years old and sent to the Church by his mother to help out the local priests.
The priest, the accuser said, was Vasquez who by then hadn’t been elected into Congress. After initially raping the then-13-year-old boy, the priest-turned-lawmaker then allegedly “gave” the boy to his brother as a “sex gift.”
The boy never told his mother, fearing the priest’s moral authority and political power.
The boy told Coronell that he fled his town, San Jose de Guaviare, when he was 14, but was forced to return at 16 because he wasn’t able sustain himself.
According to the alleged victim, the two priests threatened to kill his family if he wouldn’t return to the church after which he became the brothers’ “sex slave.”
The last time the victim was abused by the House representative was two weeks ago, after which the boy said to have turned to the authorities to surrender evidence, including DNA, of his alleged abuser.
The accused lawmaker, a member of President Juan Manuel Santos‘ U party, reportedly hung up on the journalist after being informed the interview was about the sexual abuse of the case. Neither one of the Vasquez have since responded to the abuse allegations.
After the news spread to almost all national media, Vasquez did agree to an interview with W Radio in which he denied having sexual abused the boy.
“I always attended him in public spaced. I never let him enter spaces where he would be alone with me,” said the priest-turned-lawmaker.
According to Coronell, Vasquez promised to propose to up the penalties for sexually abusive priests, but has failed to do so.
The Catholic Church has come under increasing pressure over the past decade over tens of thousands of sexual abuse cases committed by clergies worldwide.
This is not the first time Vasquez hits the headlines over a scandal; Two months ago he was formally charged over an extra-official visit to a Bogoat prison to attend the illegal birthday party of a former congressman jailed for his ties to death squads.