Priest Jailed for 30 Years

IOL [Tanzania]
August 11, 2006

Dar es Salaam - A Tanzanian court has jailed a Roman Catholic priest for 30 years for having sex with a 17-year-old boy.

It was the first time a priest has been convicted of a sex crime in the east African country, where having intercourse with an under-age companion and a member of the same sex are illegal.

The court rejected pleas from a defence lawyer that Sixtus Kimaro, 38, should be pardoned because he was also a young man.

"That is not a valid excuse for something that is not accepted in society. The clergy must be held in high esteem and so he should have been responsible for his actions," magistrate Pellagia Khaday said on Wednesday.

The magistrate sentenced Kimaro to 30 years in prison and said he should also pay the boy two million shillings (about R10 500) compensation.

Prosecutors had called for a life sentence. Officials from Tanzania's Roman Catholic Church were not available for comment.


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