State police of Goiás, Brazil arrested on Tuesday a pastor of an evangelical group accused of having raped six minors, who, at the time of the crimes, between 2000 and 2004, were between 3 and 10 years old.
Pastor Willian de Souza Adriel, 53, was arrested this Tuesday morning at his own residence in Itaberaí, a small municipality about 100 kilometers from Goiania, the capital of Goiás (center), by agents of the regional Civil Police, reported this institution in a statement.
His provisional arrest was ordered by a municipal judge at the request of the Police, in the framework of an investigation into sexual abuse of minors.
The Goiás Civil Police said they had identified six possible victims of the abuses, but admitted that the number may be higher and therefore authorized the release of the pastor’s photograph, given the possibility that it may be recognized by other victims.
“In compliance with the decision of the commissioner responsible for the investigation, the release of the suspect’s photograph was determined, since there may be other child and adolescent victims. In this way, there is public interest in the circulation of the image, to allow other possible victims to recognize it and appear at the police station to file a complaint,” the note says.
According to a statement from the Civil Police, the religious leader took advantage of the position he occupied in a church in that city to gain the trust of the families and to approach children and adolescents whom he abused.
“He took advantage of the fact that he had the trust of the families to practice libidinous acts against the victims,” said Commissioner Kristian Felipe da Rosa, head of the investigation.
According to the statement, Souza Adriel will remain detained in a prison unit in Itaberaí while he responds to a trial for the crime of rape of the vulnerable, for which the Brazilian penal code provides for a sentence of between 8 and 15 years in prison.
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