Paraguay priest accused of sexual harassment begins trial

June 7, 2019
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Catholic priest Silvestre Olmedo, left, enters the courtroom to be tried for sexual harassment, in San Lorenzo, Paraguay, Friday, June 7, 2019. Olmedo is accused by a woman of having fondled her in 2016, when he was the parish priest of the city of Limpio. If found guilty he can face up to 2 years in prison. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — A trial has started against a Paraguayan priest accused of sexually harassing a catechist.

The Rev. Silvestre Olmedo appeared before a court in the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital Friday. About 20 people were present at the courtroom and feminist groups protested against the priest outside. The hearing was temporarily suspended after a request by his defense attorney.

Olmedo is accused of groping a 24-year-old woman at a parish residence in 2016. He will not be able to carry out priestly duties while on trial and could face up to two years in prison if he is found guilty. He denies the accusations.

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