Vincenzo Esposito Child Abuse
Title: Priest in Perugia arrested on charges of child porn, prostitution
ROME – A Sicilian priest who has been serving in the Archdiocese of Perugia for nearly 10 years has been arrested on charges of child pornography and child prostitution after allegedly paying for explicit images of minors sent via online chats.
A native of Caltavuturo, near Palermo, Father Vincenzo Esposito, 63, has overseen a parish in the San Feliciano neighborhood of Magione, in the regional province of Perugia, since his appointment there in 2013.
He was arrested over the weekend following an investigation by the Carabinieri, the Italian military police who enjoy broad authority in Italy, of Termini Imerese, in Sicily, and is currently being held at a jail in Spoleto, Umbria.
Esposito is accused of making sexual advances to four minor boys through video chat applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Specifically, he is charged with sending money to the boys, who are under 18, in exchange for explicit images of themselves.
A 50-year-old woman, the mother of one of a 17-year-old victim, has also been arrested for allegedly receiving payments from Esposito in exchange for explicit calls or videos of her son.
The precautionary custody order issued by Judge Fabio Pilato of Termini Imerese described Esposito’s alleged misconduct as a “perverse modus operandi in contempt of the principles of religiosity.”
According to the order, taps on Esposito’s phone revealed that on some occasions, after receiving explicit images from one of the boys, he would complement the photos and ask for a similar image or video in which the boy’s face was visible at the moment of arousal.
On many occasions, the boy would ask for money either before or after sending the content. Esposito would then pay small sums to the boy’s mother in exchange for these virtual sex acts.
Part of the investigation into Esposito focused on a tobacco shop where he apparently went almost daily to send small amounts of money, around 10 euro at a time, to the boy’s mother.