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German priest faces abuse claims in SA and at home

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German priest faces abuse claims in SA and at homeA German priest on trial for sexual abuse in South Africa acknowledged this week that similar charges against him in his home country are "correct in many points," his old diocese in Aachen said Wednesday.

Diocese spokesman Franz Kretschmann told The Associated Press that the priest had written a letter Tuesday to the Krefeld public prosecutors acknowledging "his guilt" and seeking forgiveness for the pain he caused to victims and their families.

He said the diocese knows of one man who came forward in January saying his son was sexually abused as a boy by the priest who worked in Germany 1994-2007 before leaving for South Africa.

The Krefeld prosecutors' office confirmed they had received the faxed letter from the priest, but spokesman Klaus Schreiber said it was "rather vague" on which allegations the priest had admitted to. He also said that, for now, it is unclear what the priest could be charged with and how many people have come forward with claims of sexual abuse.

"Our investigation is in a very early stage," he said. "But to my knowledge there are several possible victims."


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