A 19-year-old man was arrested in France for allegedly killing a priest he claims sexually abused him by forcing a crucifix down his throat and suffocating him. Alexandre V., whose last name has not been disclosed, allegedly attacked and tortured Roger Matassoli, 91, on Nov. 4 while working at his home in Agnetz, Oise, in northern France. He tried to escape in the priest’s car after the incident and was charged on Dec. 26 with torture, murder, and resisting arrest after he spent time in a hospital due to psychiatric problems. The suspect allegedly told investigators that he had no recollection of the incident. Matassoli has previously been accused of abusing at least four boys, including Alexandre and Alexandre’s father, Stéphane, between 1960 and 2000. Stéphane’s father—Alexandre’s grandfather—allegedly committed suicide when he found out about his son’s abuse, according to French news outlets, and Alexandre reportedly attempted suicide following his own abuse. “This man has shattered a whole family,” Stéphane previously told the French newspaper, Le Parisien. French police are investigating the murder as an act of revenge.
The priest was relocated from the diocese of Clermont in 1967 and the diocese of Saint-Andre-Farivillers in 1984 to Agnetz after he was hit with sexual-abuse allegations. Amid numerous sexual-assault allegations, he remained on the church’s payroll until 2018.