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Pope Francis: child abusers must be 'severely punished'

Pontiff cites grisly case where child is silenced by being thrown from 8th-story balcony

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Greeting members of an Italian association that combats child abuse, Francis called the abuse of minors an intolerable tragedy. “We must defend the children and we must severely punish the abusers,” he said.

On Saturday, new testimony emerged in the case of six-year-old Fortuna Loffredo who died in June 2014 after a fall from an eighth-storey balcony in Naples. Stepping forward was her 11-year-old friend, Chiara, who claims that she witnessed her mother’s boyfriend raping Fortuna on the eighth floor of the building. She also claims to have been abused by the same man on multiple occasions.

Police have charged a 44-year-old Raimondo Caputo with having thrown Fortuna to her death after raping her in a housing block in a seedy area of the city. Police said they believe he killed her so she would not talk, though investigators have also suggested that she may have resisted him and thus was thrown from the building.

Caputo was the live-in boyfriend of Chiara’s mother. The man has been in prison since last November for the abuse of Chiara’s sister.

Investigating judge Alessandro Buccino Grimaldi stated that the man “brutally murdered” the girl because she had dared to oppose his advances, adding that Caputo “did not hesitate to engage in heinous and brutal sexual acts on his [step]daughters at an early age, as well as on poor Fortuna.”

This article continues at [Breitbart] Pope Francis Calls for ‘Severe Punishment’ for Child Abusers

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