Former Vatican diplomat admits accessing child porn during trial

Former Vatican diplomat admits accessing child porn during trial

Former Vatican diplomat admits accessing child porn during trial

Monsignor Carlo Capella is pictured at the Vatican in 2015. (Credit: CNS.)

A former Vatican diplomat on trial for possession of a large quantity of child pornography has admitted the charges during the first hearing of an expedited trial inside the Vatican.

ROME — A former Vatican diplomat on trial for possession of a large quantity of child pornography has admitted the charges during the first hearing of an expedited trial inside the Vatican.

Monsignor Carlo Capella acknowledged in court Friday “compulsive acts of improper internet consultations,” and said it was due to a personal crisis resulting from his transfer to Washington.

He said he “underestimated” the crisis he was undergoing, which he said included a sense of “emptiness and uselessness.”

The Vatican court heard from two witnesses: Gianluca Guazzi — a technical expert for the Vatican police force — and Dr. Tommaso Parisi, a psychiatrist.

“Monsignor Capella was looking for pictures of young people between the ages of 14 and 17,” Gauzzi told the court.

The officer examined the priest’s devices, where between 40 and 55 incriminating images were found, including photographs, videos and pornographic images from Japanese comics.

Guazzi said among the items was “a video with a very small child in explicit acts.”

He also said the images found on Capella’s devices are not the sort that can be discovered with a simple web search.

Parisi said Capella had been “cooperative” and assisted in the investigation.

Capella was recalled from Washington last year amid investigations into the charges in the United States, Canada and the Vatican. Police in Windsor, Ontario, said Capella allegedly uploaded child porn from a social networking site while visiting a place of worship from over the 2016 Christmas holiday. Windsor police accused him of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Capella insisted his internet activity “has never characterized my life as a priest and my relationships with children.”

The trial continues Saturday, when a verdict and sentence are likely.

This article incorporated material from the Associated Press.

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