An Argentine priest went on trial charged with 17 counts of sexual abuse and corruption of three young boys.
Julio Grassi, 52, abused three boys who attended his well-known “Happy the Children” Foundation for underprivileged youths. The boys are on a list of more than 350 witnesses who will testify against Grassi over the next few months. The archbishop of Buenos Aires is also on the list.
The “Happy the Children” Foundation was created in 1993, and made Grassi into a renowned figure in Argentina, allowing him to bring in thousands of dollars in donations.
Many important public figures like actors Danny Glover, Sean Penn and presidential failure Al Gore have since distanced themselves from the priest.
Grassi reiterated a claim of innocence during a recess due to “irregularities” in the case, according to his lawyers.
The judge presiding suffers from Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS .
The priest has a Web site on which he also declares his innocence and says his life’s purpose is “to save children from a life on the street and give them a helping hand so they feel wanted and pretty."
More than 90 percent of Argentines identify themselves as Catholics, although less than 20 percent are practicing.
To that 90 percent the Protestant faith doesn't require so much practicing just turn up for a few Sundays and you are in.
The Bishop of Leeds said in a statement earlier, "Priests will be priests I've enough trouble keeping my lads in check without all that Latino blood rushing to their lower heads. Where is the harm as long as you happy up the children?"