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article imageAmbassador, TV presenter sentenced in Portugal for pedophile ring

By Andrew Moran     Sep 4, 2010 in World
Lisbon - After six years, a three-judge panel has convicted six men after being accused of sexually abusing and raping kids and also of running a pedophile ring in a state-run children's home in the capital of Lisbon.
A prominent television presenter, a former ambassador, a doctor, a lawyer and a former employee of a children’s home in Lisbon have been found guilty of sexually abusing and raping children in Casa Pia, a children’s home, according to the London Guardian. They have also been convicted of running a pedophile ring.
On Friday, the three-judge panel concluded the six-year trial after hearing chilling testimony from more than 32 victims. The victims told the court about being raped by adults in dark cellars, vehicles and in Casa Pia.
The court ruled on more than 800 crimes and also heard from witnesses and experts.
Most of the victims who testified are now between the ages of 16 and 22.
“It's traumatic going over it all again,” said Bernardo Teixeira, a victim who experienced the ordeal between the ages of 13 and 15, and is now 22-years-old. “But in the end it was like getting a weight off my chest. The court recognized that we were telling the truth. It's a happy ending for us. The pedophiles are going to jail."
Carlos Sivina, a former drive and gardener at the children’s home, was sentenced to 18 years in prison after confessing to more than 600 cases of sexual abuse and sending the children to other defendants’ homes, reports Press TV. The other defendants, including Carlos Cruz, a prominent television presenter, were sentenced up to 7 years in prison.
The United Press International reports that Cruz is planning to appeal the court’s ruling: “They have committed a huge injustice against me. I think they've invented a monstrous lie.”
Meanwhile, a court in 2006 ordered the government of Portugal to pay more than $2.5 million to former residents of Casa Pia because they failed to protect their basic rights.
Casa Pia is a 230-year-old institution that fosters needy children. The home cares for approximately 4,500 children where they live in dormitories in Lisbon.
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