By Claire Gordon • 03 February 2022 • 23:16
Photo by Thays Orrico on Unsplash
An Italian former priest, known as “Don Euro” for his incessant requests for money from his parishioners, has been jailed for extorting a former bishop. Luca Morini was sentenced to seven and a half years on Wednesday 2 February, after earlier losing his status as a priest following a series of scandals.
He was also convicted of impersonation, after assuming the identity of a judge while hiring male sex workers. He was cleared of other charges including extorting a nun.
Morini was the priest of Pontasserchio, a Tuscan town of 2,600 people just north of Pisa. At first, he was thought to be good-natured, but soon earned himself the nickname Don Euro for his constant requests for contributions.
According to reports from the Italian media, the collections from the church did not go back into the parish chest, but instead, he spent it on parties, clubs and diamonds. The extortion conviction relates to the former bishop of Massa Carrara, Giovanni Santucci, who was allegedly blackmailed into loaning hundreds of thousands of Euros to Morini and buying him a house.
Morini was also ordered to pay €14,000 (£11,800) in compensation to four men for assuming a false identity.
Prosecutors asked for a longer sentence but it was reduced because the court ruled Morini suffered from mental illness, as reported by BBC News.
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