Brescia: Police in Italy arrested a priest, a junior football coach a policeman and five others on charges of paying for sex with minors who they contacted via social media.
The priest, named as 45-year-old Diego Rota, has his parish in the village of Solza near the city of Bergamo, police said.
“The serious charges with which Don Rota is accused have amazed, dismayed and profoundly pained the bishop and our entire community,” the Diocese of Bergamo said on its website.
An HIV sufferer, 56-year-old Claudio Tonoli, asked his teenage victims to have unprotected sex with him, according to police.
Four boys aged between 16 and 17 were allegedly targeted by the prostitution ring on social media websites and given money or gifts in exchange for sex.
The sexual encounters took place inside vehicles at shopping centre car parks, cinemas, theatres and at the homes of some of the suspects, police said.
(Also Read: More child abuse cases surface in Pakistan)
The alleged members of the prostitution ring were arrested across the Lombardy region surrounding Milan after a six-month investigation led by detectives in Brescia, police said.
The probe began after one of the victims’ mothers found explicit text messages on his phone describing sexual encounters with men.