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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A Vatican court on Wednesday cleared two priests charged in connection with alleged sexual abuse in a youth seminary in the Vatican between 2007 and 2012.

Father Gabriele Martinelli, now 29, was accused of having forced a person known only as L.G. to have sex, mostly while they were both minors.

Martinelli, for whom the prosecution had sought a six-year custodial sentence, was not a priest at the time.

The prosecution had sought a four-year sentence for Father Enrico Radice, 72, who was rector at the time, and was charged with having covered up the alleged abuse.

Both Martinelli and Radice had consistently denied wrongdoing and accused L.G. of mounting a personal vendetta against them.

The alleged abuse took place in the Pius X Pre-Seminary, which houses altar boys who serve Mass in St. Peter's, i

Vatican court clears two priests in abuse case

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A Vatican court on Wednesday cleared two priests charged in connection with alleged sexual abuse in a youth seminary in the Vatican between 2007 and 2012.

Father Gabriele Martinelli, now 29, was accused of having forced a person known only as L.G. to have sex, mostly while they were both minors.

Martinelli, for whom the prosecution had sought a six-year custodial sentence, was not a priest at the time.

The prosecution had sought a four-year sentence for Father Enrico Radice, 72, who was rector at the time, and was charged with having covered up the alleged abuse.

Both Martinelli and Radice had consistently denied wrongdoing and accused L.G. of mounting a personal vendetta against them.

The alleged abuse took place in the Pius X Pre-Seminary, which houses altar boys who serve Mass in St. Peter’s, including for popes, and are thinking of becoming priests.

Some of the charges were affected by the statue of limitations, and details of the court ruling were due to be published later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by John Stonestreet)

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