Serbian priest sentenced to jail for sexual abuse of boys

The Associated Press/February 9, 2007

A Serbian Orthodox Church priest has been jailed for a year after being convicted of sexually abusing boys in 2001, a court announced Friday.

Jovan Misic, also known by his church name Ilarion and the former abbot of the Hopovo monastery in the northern Vojvodina province, was found guilty of "lewd behavior and sexual abuse" of several underage boys in monastery grounds, the court said.

The boys were aged between seven and eleven years old.

No furthers details were revealed because of the need to protect the victims and their families.

There was no immediate comment from Misic or his lawyer.

The District Court in Novi Sad, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Belgrade, first ruled in the case in October last year, finding Misic guilty and sentencing him to 10 months in prison.

The court confirmed the verdict on appeal and increased the prison term to 12 months.

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