Girl,11, uses phone to record herself being sexually abused by priest after parishoners refused to believe her
Father Michele Mottola was arrested this week when the footage was broadcast on a current affairs show in Italy.
An Italian priest has been arrested after an 11-year-old girl recorded herself being sexually abused on her mobile phone. Father Michele Mottola, the accused priest, began grooming the girl in 2017, soon after he took up his post as parish priest of Trentola Ducenta located in Campania, near Naples, according to the Church Militant report. The abuse began when the girl was 10 and lasted till February 2018. The girl, too ashamed to talk about the abuse with her parents, first approached two parishioners who refused to believe her. This is when she made the recording on her mobile phone as evidence.
In the recording, the priest is heard saying: "Do you want a kiss?” While the girl protests, he said: “There is no one here. Are you afraid? Kiss me, hug me.” In a second recording, after the sound of heavy breathing and sounds of the girl protesting, he is heard saying: “Take this to dry yourself.” After the girl told the priest she had reported the matter to other parishioners, he said: "You didn't have to do it, because now they will understand other things. Things will get very bad. I will come to your home to talk to your parents."
He also told her: "You can tell lies. Did you understand you can lie? You're like Islamic suicide bombers, throwing a bomb, killing people and leaving. The mud ends up also on your family and on you." The parishioners intervened and spoke to the girl's family and the girl's mother finally reported the crime to the bishop.
Though Mottola was suspended by the Catholic Church in May, he was arrested only in November 2019 after the phone recording was broadcast on 'Le Iene', a current affairs show in Italy, who then confronted the priest on camera. “I am proud of my daughter, she was more cunning than the priest,” the mother said on 'Le Iene'.