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Court lowers priest’s sexual abuse verdict to three years

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Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) – Erik Tvrdon, former priest from Havlickuv Brod, east Bohemia, will spend three years in prison for sexual abuse of four women and an underage girl, Nova TV reported yesterday, referring to the appeals court verdict reducing his original five-year sentence.
The appeals court upheld the lower-lever court’s previous decision to ban Tvrdon from working with children for five years.
The police started to investigate Tvrdon based on a report from one of the abused women, who said he had exerted psychological pressure on her from mid-2012 and repeatedly raped her in late 2013.
The police subsequently found the other victims.
According to the state attorney, Tvrdon committed nine offences against five women including two adults, two juveniles and one underage, for which he faced up to ten years in prison.
Originally, the lower-level court sentenced him to five years in prison for rape and sexual abuse in February 2015. The court also banned him from working with children and ordered that he undergo protective sexological treatment.
The state attorney considered the verdict too mild and appealed it. The appeals court cancelled the verdict and returned it to the first instance court to complete more evidence.
This April, the court sentenced Tvrdon to four years. The verdict was appealed by both his defence and the state attorney.

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