Ex-priest indicted for sex abuse in Italy

Ex-priest indicted for sex abuse in Italy Rome: A politically connected former priest has been indicted on charges he sexually molested 12 young men and boys who were being treated at the drug rehabilitation centre he founded in Italy.

85-year-old Pierino Gelmini has denied the charges as "completely unfounded."

Gelmini was one of Italy's most recognised and well-connected priests before he requested to be relieved of his clerical status in 2008.

A year earlier, the first nine men came forward with allegations that Gelmini sexually abused them while they were residents at his Comunita Incontro rehab centre based in the Umbrian town of Amelia.

Gelmini's lawyer, Lanfranco Frezza, said today the first hearing in the trial is set for March 29, 2011.