Padre Anastacio

Prosecutors seek foreign help to find Roman Catholic priest accused of child sex abuse

Anastácio Alves faces five crimes of sexually abusing minors

Portugal’s office of public prosecutions has triggered international judicial cooperation to locate a former priest from Madeira accused of five crimes of child/ adolescent sex abuse.

According to a note posted on the prosecutor’s website, Anastácio Alves was charged in March this year with four crimes of sexual abuse of children, and a further crime of sexual acts with adolescents. 

Attempts to locate him have been “fruitless” both in France and Portugal, says the note.

International judicial cooperation in criminal matters has been triggered, in order to notify the defendant.” 

The prosecutors’ statement explains this investigation began in July 2018, at the Madeira district Department of Investigation and Prosecution (DIAP), following “reports of the practice of crimes allegedly committed by Alves against sexual freedom and self-determination of a minor”.

The office explains that the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People of Câmara de Lobos, a municipality in western Madeira, reported that the “same minor is believed to have been have been the victim of crimes of sexual abuse of children and sexual acts with adolescents perpetrated by two individuals, one of them being a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, registered at the Consulate-General of Portugal in Paris, but whose whereabout are unknown.”

The investigation is being handled by the Judicial Police (PJ), which concluded it in July 2019.

“In March 2022, the Public Ministry closed the investigation, archiving it in relation to the other individual who had died in the meantime, and charging the said former priest of the practice … of four crimes of sexual abuse of children … and one crime of sexual acts with an adolescent,” states the note, adding that in the course of the process, “statements were taken for future memory of the victim, as well as was performed forensic psychology expertise, in order to assess the credibility of his account” – with this being done by the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in August 2020.

In September 2018, when Alves was serving as a priest in France, the diocese of Funchal announced he was being removed from pastoral action for suspected sexual abuse of a minor in Madeira.

The whereabouts of the former priest – now aged 59 – have been unknown since then.

Source: LUSA