Father Antonio Zanotti, who is currently under investigation by Italian authorities for fraud, has been accused of sexually abusing a migrant under the care of his pro-migrant NGO.
The migrant originally came forward two years ago, claiming that he had suffered sexual abuse while under the care of the Oasis 7 organisation in Bergamo which takes in migrants and minors who face difficult situations.
The migrant filed hard evidence, in the form of photographs and short videos, to prosecutors. The migrant told prosecutors that Father Zanotti, a Capuchin friar, had forced him to perform sexual acts and was threatened him with beatings if he did not comply, Il Giornale reports.
“After about three or four months after my arrival at Oasis 7, the friar began to approach me sexually. Then, after inviting me to drink in his room, he put his hands in my genitals. Although it was not my desire to have sex with the friar, I could not resist,” the migrant said this week.
“Father Zanotti’s claims were more and more insistent and pressing. He touched me constantly. And he forced me to take Viagra (once he even made me swallow three tablets) so that he could satisfy himself,” he added.
Report Finds NGO Staff Sex Abuse ‘Endemic’ Across Aid Sector https://t.co/v8R1RPCGuz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 31, 2018
Zanotti has been under house arrest since June 17th after being accused of personally profiting from migrants and abusing public funds meant for the migrants under his care.
Sexual abuse of migrants by members of NGOs has been a reoccurring problem in several countries in recent years.
Last year, the head of the Italian NGO Mama Africa was accused of sexually abusing a young boy in Togo between 2007 to 2014.
A similar case also took place in Switzerland last year in which a migrant accused a Swiss pro-migrant activist of sexually abusing him while the Swiss man worked for Amnesty International in 2008.
In 2018, the House of Commons international development committee in the UK published a damning report claiming that sexual abuse was an “endemic” problem across foreign aid NGOs.