Danish paedophile priest sentenced to ten years in prison

A priest from the village of Tømmerup in western Zealand has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment after being found guilty of sexually assaulting children.

Danish paedophile priest sentenced to ten years in prison
Photo: Brian Karmark/Polfoto/Ritzau

Priest Dan Peschack has also been barred from working as a priest, and from being in the presence of children under 18 unless they are accompanied by an adult.

Peschack was convicted at Holbæk City Court of assaulting eight children, including having sexual intercourse or other sexual contact with six of them.

Presiding judge Gry Berdin said that the verdict was unanimous.

“The court places importance in its decision on the character and seriousness of the very large number of sexual assaults,” Berdin said.

The priest has appealed to Denmark’s high court over the verdict.

The assaults took place at the rectory of the Tømmerup church over a ten-year period from 2006 to 2016. Peschack was arrested last year.

One of the victims was a 13-year-old girl, who was assaulted by Peschack when he was 45.

Another was a boy who had recently turned 12 at the time he was assaulted in 2015. The priest licked Nutella and cream from the boy’s body, the court heard.

The indictment sheet also states that Peschack masturbated on to the boy and inserted his finger into his rectum.

Several of the assaults were filmed or photographed.

Berdin said that the sentence takes into account the young age of the victims.

The man sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy while he slept in 2006 and 2007 by penetrating him anally with his finger and filming it. Images of that assault were found by police during a 2016 raid of the Tømmerup residence.

He also assaulted boys while they were sleeping on two other occasions, including one in which the boy was intoxicated by alcohol.

Two 14-year-old boys were harassed by the priest online, when he pretended to be a young girl in order to persuade them to send naked photographs. He used the same methods on three further unidentified victims.

The priest was convicted for indecency and possessing child pornography as a result of those offences.

Berdin also said that the priest’s abuse of the trust placed in him by the children had provided the basis for a harsher sentence.

The priest has been remanded in custody since summer 2016 and will remain so until the appeal hearing.