Monsignor Luigi Ventura, former Apostolic Nuncio in France, was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence by the Paris Correctional Court , reported Le Figaro on December 16, 2020. Convicted of sexual touching of men, he can appeal the sentence.
During the hearing last November 10, the Procurator of the Republic called for a 10-month suspended prison sentence. Defense lawyer Solange Doumic had pleaded the release, alleging that the Nuncio never had a “sexual intention.”
The decision was rendered today: eight months and victims compensation of between 2,000 and 6,000 euros. Monsignor Ventura “envisages making an appeal but he is destroyed by this affair,” commented his lawyer.
Four complaints were lodged against him, three of which were for alleged sexual aggressions. Monsignor Ventura has always pleaded his innocence but expressed his willingness to collaborate with the French judiciary authorities. In early April 2019, he was heard by the French police, before facing the plaintiffs a month later. Early in the summer of 2019 the Holy See waived Monsignor Ventura’s jurisdictional immunity.
Pope Francis accepted his resignation in December 2019 — in keeping with the 75-year age limit, after 10 years in that post. His successor, Monsignor Celestino Migliore, was appointed the following month, in January 2020.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester