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Former French Priest Convicted of Abusing Dozens of Boy Scouts

Bernard Preynat, 75, received a five-year sentence after admitting to assaulting boys over a 20-year period, a scandal that embroiled a top cardinal.

A former Roman Catholic priest in France was convicted and sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for sexually assaulting dozens of Boy Scouts several decades ago, in a case that embroiled a top cardinal in the country’s growing reckoning with clerical sexual abuse.

The former priest, Bernard Preynat, 75, was found guilty by a court in Lyon, in central France, according to his lawyer, Frédéric Doyez. Prosecutors had asked for an eight-year sentence, slightly less than the maximum 10 years for such offenses.

The hearing for the verdict was held behind closed doors in Lyon after the French authorities enforced new restrictions on public gatherings because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus epidemic.

Pierre Emmanuel Germain-Thill, one of Mr. Preynat’s victims, told Agence France-Presse that the sentence was “correct” given the former priest’s age.

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