Polish priest held in Brazil on paedophile charges

The priest has been accused of luring boys into "erotic dungeon" in his home.

Updated: May 25, 2010, 09:33 AM IST

Rio de Janeiro: A Polish priest accused of luring boys into an "erotic dungeon" in his home in Rio de Janeiro state was in Brazilian police custody on Monday on charges of paedophilia, officials said.

Marcin Strachanowski, 44, surrendered a day after a judge last Thursday issued an arrest warrant for him after declaring him a "person compulsively attached to sex with adolescents”, police said.

The priest`s house was transformed into "a sort of erotic dungeon where these youths were thrown into orgies”, judge Alexandre Abrahao Teixeira said in his preventive detention order.

Rio`s archdiocese said in a statement it had suspended Strachanowski of his functions. If convicted, the priest faces up to 10 years in prison.

Brazilian officials said the investigation against the priest started in 2007 when one teenager told police Strachanowski persuaded him to engage in kissing, then to be handcuffed to a bed and engage in oral sex and attempted anal sex.

Brazil -- the country with the biggest Catholic population in the world -- has been rocked by at least six scandals involving alleged predator priests over the past three months.

They are part of a paedophile firestorm implicating Catholic priests in several countries that is badly affecting the image of the Vatican.