May 22nd, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Priest accused of having 'erotic dungeon' surrenders

[Updated 12:15 p.m. ET]  A Polish-born priest accused of sexually abusing minors in his parochial residence in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has turned himself in, state officials said Saturday.

State security officials said Marcin Michal Strachanowski, 44, surrendered to authorities Friday night in the village of Realengo.

State Civil Police had issued a "preventative arrest" warrant against Strachanowski on Thursday. The priest is accused of handcuffing a minor in 2006 and forcing him to perform sexual acts at his home in the Divino Espirito Santo church in Rio de Janeiro's west zone, the officials said.

In a press statement, the Rio de Janeiro archdiocese said it has suspended Strachanowski from his duties and that in addition to the criminal inquiry, the church has called on a ecclesiastic tribunal to oversee a canonical trial.

"The archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro laments the incident, especially for the people involved, especially for the possible victims, and clarifies that the mentioned clergyman already finds himself suspended of his parochial functions," the statement said.

According to Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, the priest could not be found Friday morning.

The newspaper reported that a 16-year old alleged victim told investigators that after being frequently raped by the priest, he was forced to remain silent and was threatened regularly.

Citing court statements, the newspaper reported that criminal Judge Alexandre Abrahao Dias Teixeira said police investigations revealed the profile of a man with a "compulsive attraction to having sex with adolescents" and that he had allegedly turned his parish residence into an "erotic dungeon" where he forced boys to have sex with him.

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  1. BMaryland

    Regarding the battle between atheist vs. believers. Believers, do you really think that God is so narcissistic that if you don't acknowledge His/Her existence, that you will be punished no matter how you lived your life? Doesn't that sound like a god with a huge ego? Doesn't sound very reasonable to me.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. LARRY

    TOM , SHOW US SOME KINK OF PROOF. ALL I HAVE EVER WITNESSED IS DEATH & DESTRUCTION BECAUSE OF RELIGION

    May 22, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. D

    Larry – the fact that you are here is proof enough. Do we really want to get into the Creation over big bang theory?

    May 22, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      When you mention a theory, your explination of the proof cannot be 'proof enough' because you are making an assumtion. You make a good argument, but now have lost credibility. I think the question is do YOU really want to get into Creation over big bang? Stay in the shallow end of the pool. You need to use actual FACTS and EVIDENCE if you want to swim in the deep end with the adults.

      May 22, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Debbie

    D I think you mean "conscience" and it has nothing to do with religion, we're born with one (or not) It's our connection to Higher Power if you want to call it that, and we don't need a book of rules to know what's right/wrong. These priests know it's wrong to abuse and torture children and reading and preaching to others about the Bible didn't prevent them from doing it.

    May 22, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mike J.

    Hello All,

    I know many people, many of whom are quite old, who devote themselves to their communities via religion. Our religion has taught me better ways to try to be selfless. It has brought the old and the young together. I hold the view presently that the various religions in their developmental paths are similar to a group made up of representatives from various areas gathering and being told a story around a campfire, then going home and telling slightly differing versions which further developed independantly.

    My view: Religion lives in the community, in each of us. It is simply what we make of it. It is intended as a set of guidelines to help us live our time in peace and happiness. Some people twist this purpose due to human weakness, some exemplify it unselfishly helping others along the way. That is what it is to me. I have close friends who are Athiest, Agnostic, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslim and others who simply have not pursued formalization of any classifyable belief set. I love them all as brothers and sisters. Truely I tell you: the only ones we can control are the actions of ourselves. Understanding breeds relationships.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    May 22, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. dave

    Tom

    All the hateful atheist libs in here are just that in this forum becaseu its anonymous. In the real world, atheists are too afraid to speak their vile becasue they know their intolerance would not be accepted. 1 billion Catholics and 2 billion Christians and maybe around 300 million atheists.
    May 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm |

    Or maybe they are just afraid of being persecuted by the TRUE BELIEVERS. Remember some christians like some moslems will kill you if you believe or act differently than they do. Kind of dangerous to open an abortion clinic these days. Doctors murdered by the godly, how sad. Yeah organized religion is a cult. Murder is ok, pediphile priest are ok, marrying under age girls is ok. The list goes on. All in the name of god. Cults!

    May 22, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Dave: "In the real world, atheists are too afraid to speak their vile becasue they know their intolerance would not be accepted." So you refuse to even listen to my point of view? That makes me intolerant because you do not accept it? "Would not be accepted" sounds like a threat. Please, dont hide behind the annonymity of this message board and threaten people. It makes you look like a scared little girl. Tough guy.

      May 22, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. D

    Debbie, Then these priests were going through the motions. Everyone gets relaxed at something at some point or another. Take driving, people get relaxed think they are really good at it, then they start texting, and they get a harsh reminder that they must pay attention by crashing. No matter how strong you are in Faith, we all get relaxed, the Bible warns against this. Once we are relaxed our human nature and our human needs/wants take over. Yes the Bible has rules in it, but the Bible aslo shows us how to live. The Bible is more than just a "book of rules" the Bible is a book to live by. These priests that abuse their power have become relaxed in Faith. The fact that these are priests is what is drawing as much world wide attention that it is. If this was any other person (which a priest is) this would not make it past your local headlines. Yes, a priest is just another person, the fact that they are called a priest does not mean they are any better than the rest of us. Do we hold priests to a higher standard? Yes. Should we treat them any better or any worse than we would treat our neighbor? No. The fact that everyone thinks that what they see in headlines, is what the Church is all about, just doesn't make sense.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      i think we all know what the church is "all about". They are all about protecting and sheltering pedophiles. Please, try to deny that without bringing up charity. Stay on topic. Is the church guilty of protecting pedophiles? Yes or no.

      May 22, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. mactexas

    I do not understand why you are using liberal and athiest as inseparable.
    Catholics have always had priests who are pediphiles and will continue to have them until they are held accountable.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mr. Magoo

    Faith is the ability to believe something that you know is not true.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. KM

    Too many christians; Too few lions. :(

    May 22, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Debbie

    Mactxas I agree, Jesus would definitely be a liberal if on earth today, wouldn't He???? Certainly not on the side of big business money-changers, but a bleeding heart for the poor incl immigrants. Tho the "RIght" somehow claim to be the "Christian" party – inexplicably!
    And yes the organized Catholic church has been all about power, money and has allowed & covered up depravity. This is not anything against Catholics who are good people & sincere, but now that they find out there's bad stuff going on they MUST demand an end to it

    May 22, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marcelo

    There are predators in every corner of the world, maybe even in the white house, who knows? Why blame the whole church for a few pedho-priests... are you seeking realease for your obligations on the 10 commandments?

    May 22, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris in VA

    Here is my 2 cents. I am willing to believe in GOD. Any time, any place, GOD is welcome to enlighten me. One on one, me and GOD. Show me the way. Until then I will not blindly follow any person, religion,government or GOD that uses FEAR as a control mechanism. FEAR is not needed to teach LOVE. As with any story there are two sides and most often the truth lies somewhere in the middle. BTW not an atheist or card carrying believer. Just a guy who knows I do not have the answers so I keep an open mind an observe.

    May 22, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    religion is the root of all evil

    May 22, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • pplr

      That comment was already disproved decades ago.

      May 22, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dr. N. Jersey

    @Tom: #1-Every one of your posts is talking about your hatred for 'liberal atheists', Then you say how hate filled we are. Kind of funny and indicative of most religions as a whole (not practicing what they preach and spreading hate and violence). If you have any idea of world history then you will admit that more blood has been spilled in the name of religion than for any other cause, BY FAR! #2–You revert to the old nonsense 'well what if your wrong? They you are damned" argument. First off, if you are religious just to 'not be wrong', and you think that is a GOOD reason to practice religion, then you are a fool. Second, what if you are wrong? What if the real "God" is the flying spaghetti monster and only by eating fruit loops in a pink tu-tu will you get to heaven! Should we all buy tu-tus and fruit loops JUST IN CASE? By your logic we should all go to Synagogue on Saturday, Every Christian church on Sunday, Mosque on Monday, etc. etc, just in case! Yeah, that is a great way to live your life!

    May 22, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
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