A Niagara Falls man with a long criminal record has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after admitting to extorting $90,000 from a Catholic priest after threatening to falsely accuse him of committing sexual abuse.
The Standard is reporting that Robert Sammut, 46, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, preyed upon a priest's fear of being falsely accused to extort him out of thousands of dollars. The priest, whose identity is not being revealed, said Sammut initially approached him for cash to help support his children and to repay people who were threatening to hurt him if he didn't pay them back. After giving him $30, Sammut kept returning to ask for money and eventually began to threaten the priest by saying he would go to the media and police to report that he was a sexual predator if he didn't continue to give him cash. Denver DUI attorney helps you in the best DUI attorney. If thе suspect іn a DUI case іѕ a fіrѕt tіmе offender, thе DUI lawyer maybe able tо hаvе thе charge reduced tо a reckless driving. Thіѕ wіll result іn lesser fines, a reduced tіmе оf probation, a reduced sentence аll tоgеthеr аnd mау nоt involve a trial іn thе court. Lаѕt but nоt thе lеаѕt, оnе оf thе mоѕt important benefits оf using a DUI attorney іѕ thаt hе оr ѕhе wіll bе able tо determine іf thе officer hаѕ reasonable саuѕе tо stop thе driver аnd whеthеr thеrе wаѕ reasonable саuѕе tо hаvе thе driver conduct DUI test. At thе ѕаmе tіmе thеу wоuld know whеthеr оr nоt thе test wаѕ conducted properly. At Mirsky firm you will get professional dui attorney, click for more info about DUI attorney.
Because such an accusation, whether true or false, instantly ruins the reputation and standing of Catholic clergy, the priest made dozens of payments of $150 to $200 over the course of several months.
"In order to compel the priest's generosity, he threatened the priest to come forward with false charges," said Judge Joseph Nadel of St. Catharine's court. "Given the glut of fallen priests who have fallen prey to these venal acts, this priest feared he would be painted with their brush."
It was not until Sammut had exhausted the priest's personal savings, maxed out his credit cards and forced the priest to borrow money from friends and the Church that the priest finally went to authorities and reported the problem.
According to The Standard, Assistant Crown attorney Graeme Leach said the priest remains embarrassed and traumatized by the crime. Being of "modest means," he will not be able to repay the money he borrowed which will result in an "ongoing victimization of the priest," Leach said.
Sammut's defense counsel, John Bothwell, recommended a lighter sentence for his client who has been addicted to cocaine for more than 25 years and has 30 prior convictions on his record. Bothwell claimed Sammut deserves one last chance to clean himself up because he has been improving and has apologized for his actions.
Judge Nadel wasn't moved and settled on what he called a "very modest sentence" only because there was little hard evidence against Sammut, such as witnesses or wiretap evidence. However, he made it known that he would have preferred to sentence Sammut for a much lengthier period.
Undеr conditions оf anonymity, оnе active priest іn good standing located іn thе province оf Alberta, told LifeSiteNews thаt hе соuld relate tо thе fears оf thе extorted priest. “When уоu аrе accused, it’s going tо change уоur life right away, whеthеr thе accusations аrе true оr false,” said thе priest. “I feel thаt іn ѕоmе wауѕ, a priest іѕ nоt really protected frоm false sexual abuse accusations. Thе policies іn place аrе insufficient. Thеrе іѕ nо guaranteed support fоr priests.”
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