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SEXUAL

Mexican monk jailed for abusing French teen

A Mexican monk was sentence to two years in prison by a French court on Monday for abusing a high school student, just nine months after a prior molestation conviction.

A French court on Monday sentenced a Mexican monk to two years in jail for sexually abusing a high school student, just nine months after his conviction for molesting a 12-year-old boy.

The 42-year-old monk, identified as Luigi, belonged to the Confreries des Freres Saint-Jean order.

He was already under judicial supervision and had been restrained from leaving the abbey at Fley, near the town of Cluny in eastern France after receiving an 18-month suspended sentence for molesting a 12-year-old boy.

He had denied that charge but did not appeal.

The second sentencing came after a 17-year-old complained that the monk had plied him with beer spiked with drugs and then taken him to a hotel room and
sexually abused him in May last year.

The monk denied that charge as well.

The order issued a statement expressing its deep concern and denunciation of the monk's acts.

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CRIMINAL

Frenchman fined for pillaging ancient sites

A 60-year French champagne producer received a six-month suspended sentence and a €200,000 ($270,000) fine on Friday for stealing ancient objects from archaeological digs and selling them on.

Frenchman fined for pillaging ancient sites
Roman coins. File photo: AFP

French police stopped the man and his wife for a routine traffic check two years ago and found 112 Roman coins in the car.

His wife was fined €3,500 for complicity.

Between 2009 and 2012, the man made dozens of trips to archaeological digs in the region just east of Paris.

During his trial, he said he thought he was acting within the law.

"I looked around on the ground. The objects were there. All I had to do was pick them up," he said.

When police searched his house, they found a veritable museum of objects, ranging from ancient coins and pottery pieces to rings and necklaces.

The court convicted the man, who has not been named, of conducting archaeological digs without permission, selling the proceeds, and illegal possession of archaeological objects.

His ill-gotten gains were ordered returned to the state.

His lawyer, Denis Tailly-Eschenlohr, said the fine was "extremely heavy and totally disproportionate", adding that his client would lodge an appeal.

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