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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Filed under: Brazil • Church Abuse
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  1. Denissr

    People blame religion, because it is being used by people for their own desires, greed, power and politics. People that run and control religion are ether are part of the abuse, or allowing allowing it. People like Abe need to take a good look at their own Churches and try to see what is really happen behind the scenes, thay might be shocked if they really opened their eyes.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Abe

      Denissr. People are still wrong. Blame the person who does this. Religion does not preach evil. You have missed the point completely.

      May 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bluenote

    religion sucks. Period. And I think that we can ALL se thanks to these comments, that it is, by nature, incredibly divisive. People, it just doesn't make any sense; You want to believe in this god of Peace and Love, yet countless millions have been killed in his name. Entire civilizations were violently forced to accept the word of christ, or die as a consequence. Christianity has done more harm to civilization in its' roughly 2,00 years than it will ever be capable of doing good. The problem is that christians are completely unwilling to look at these inconvenient and uncomfortable facts. I'm sure there will be plenty of reasoning as to how I'm mistaken on my points, but let me make this clear: I am NOT mistaken. Christianity is a brutal, horrific religion that has used infinitely more violence and fear than Islam could dream of. For the record, I think Islam is just as worthless. Who the hell do you people think you are, to think that what you believe is any better than what anyone else believes? Just stop, and let people live.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Abe

      "Christianity is a brutal, horrific religion that has used infinitely more violence and fear than Islam could dream of".

      This simply is not true. islam is relatively young and has committed far more atrocities. Starting with mohammad at islam very birth till this day. Did you know that mohammad was no better (actually far worse) then the priest in this story AND he is the one they all look up to!!! Now compare that with Jesus.

      May 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      You're confusing false religion with true Christianity. Jesus himself said this. Look up Matthew chapter 7 verses 21-23. Mainstream (false) "Christianity" has really not been a friend to the Bible, or to God, but rather, an enemy.

      May 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GoodNews86

    False religion is part of the problem here. Make no mistake that the wicked individual has no excuses. To address several other topics mentioned here- the Bible does not require men of God to not marry, in fact it condemns those who suggest this as a fundamental doctrine ( 1Tim 4: 1-3 ) Second, fear has never worked to stop humans from acting unwisely or heinously. People do not fear authority, and as far a worship goes, they should worship God out of love not fear. Third, false religion has misguided people by teaching them false doctrines. The doctrine of a burning hell is not Biblical. The Hebrew and Greek words are Sheol and Hades and they mean the grave not a burning hell. I bring this up just to show how false teachings proliferate in "Christianity." Based on these teaching I am not surprised by folks becoming Atheist. Fortunately Jehovah's Witnesses taught my mom the truth when I was a little girl and as an adult I decided to study the Bible for myself and have learned "the truth that sets men free." (John 8:32)

    PS Hate has no place with true Christians. We can hate actions and even want justice for them but Jesus said "love" would be the hallmark of true Christians. I am happy to say that while we are not perfect people, Jehovah's Witnesses have not been responsible for ANY wars not any deaths associates with war.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. lolz@jesus

    You better start praying, Tom. I'm sure you're under the impression that the 80% majority of these posts are the devil trying to reach you! While you're at it, keep in mind that the pastor's hand you shake tomorrow morning has probably been down a child's pants. And please, keep posting. I truly enjoy reading your idiotic and elementary posts–defendng something that doesn't exist is a great way to prove those "atheist libs" how smart you and all your bible belt friends are.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Voice of Reason

    bluenote: I do not know what life experiences have driven you to feel this way, but surely you must believe in some Greater Power under whatever name you choose. Belief in an an organized religion is not a requirement for an afterlife, however having "some One" in your life as a guide to rightuous living will help you find a way to make it past life's many hard knocks. Whether God is loving or vengeful is still debatable, but there is no question as to where Jesus stands. He's on your side, no matter what. Give Him a chance. You don't need religion, a church, a priest, or even a telephone! Call him direct, person to Person. There's no charge.

    May 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Julie

    Wow. Things are really changing! Looks like the Vatican is coming down hard on its priests. Look how fast they took action and suspended this guy. There's no fooling around for priests anymore after all the negative publicity and legal judgments. I especially like the stupidity of the official statement: they regret the pain this has caused-especially for everyone involved and especially for the possible victims. Who else would you regret having harmed–people reading about it in the papers?? If the pope REALLY wanted to stop priestly abuses the best way possible, he would give a speech and tell Catholics to go first to the police, then to the diocese whenever a priest was abusing a child. But he DOESN'T tell Catholics to do that, does he?

    May 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • THomas

      in theory, going to the diocese before the civil authorities stops the priest from having contact with youths immediately. The bishop has to do his job for this to work. Also, the Pope can do very little here, the power of the church is decentralized with each bishop mostly controlling his diocese. The laws of the church require bishops to report abuse by priests to the civil authorities, it's a matter of these rules being followed

      May 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    Religion is for the poor and the weak minded – I've said it before and i will say it again.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Louis Lemieux

    Some years ago I had good friends who were Jehovah's Witnesses. I don't believe everything about Jesus that's in the bible. I associate miracles more with mythology. I do believe Jesus existed and I do believe very much in the way he wanted people to treat each others. I believe very much in: "love thy enemy." This is similar to :" Hate crime but not the criminal."

    May 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. studli_1

    Another disgusting POS from the Catholic church.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. IKnowTruth

    All you God lovers should give it a rest... if God exists, he's too busy trying to figure where he came from than wasting time on your worthless problems. Plus he hates most of you for what you do in His name!

    May 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bobby Yarush

    These priests are out of control. These guys are some freak of nature... who were able to find some pedofile sancuary in the Catholic chruch. This is so amazingly discusting to me the notion of these priests doing such things to unaware children.... and the Pope having little to nothing to say about it.... A black eye to the catholic followers for sure. A true slap in the face to your god....

    May 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. JackoB

    I don't think this guy is a Christian. And I don't think any church would approve of his behavior. So why bash all religion by extension? Sounds like there are more nutjobs in this forum than you'd find in a church.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ricky

    hang these rapist.all of them.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. WLS

    There have been more people murdered in the name of god than any other single reason on earth.
    That alone should wise up the religous nuts.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JackoB

      Proof? Or can you not read texts on WWII?

      May 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Samantha

    This is such a touchy subject.... I have recently done a research paper on religion and how every belief system boils down to the same thing; Astronomy. So to claim that the Bible, Koran, or any other writings used in an organized religion to be the "word of god" they might want to re-read those writings. Every religious writing, especially in the Bible, refer to Astronomical phenomena that could not be explained in those times. Religion is merely a tool used for power by controlling the masses. Basically keeping people "in check" by following the law or face eternal consequences. So don't get so worked up about the religious aspect, whenever we hear of a priest or any other religious figure doing some heinous crime. They themselves obviously understand that organized religion is nothing more than a way of control; otherwise, they would have never done those terrible things.

    May 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JackoB

      Oh great. Yet another 'authority' telling me what I should and shouldn't believe.

      May 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
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