Irish-Born Priest Released Amid Sexual Abuse Charges
An Irish-born priest was released by a judge in Chile on Tuesday after a hearing into alleged sexual abuse charges.
Prosecutors allege that John Joseph O’Reilly, 66, abused two children at Colegio Cumbres, a school in Santiago where he worked as the spiritual advisor.
An investigation into abuse allegations began last July, and the priest and his defence team have maintained his innocence.
After a nearly eight-hour hearing in a Santiago court room, Judge Andrea Diaz-Munoz refused to imprison the priest while the investigation continues, citing insufficient evidence.
O’Reilly is a member of the Legionaries of Christ, a once influential religious order that has been at the centre of several sexual abuse controversies in recent years.
Prosecuting attorneys presented a report from the Centre of Assistance to Victims of Sexual Assault of the Chilean Investigations Police, which documents the testimony of the alleged abuse victims.