Clergy responsible for most paedophilia by unrelated persons - report

At a Tuesday press conference, the State Commission on Paedophilia presented the second report on its findings. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Polish clergymen constitute the largest group among paedophiles whose victims were biologically unrelated to the perpetrators, a report has found.

At a Tuesday press conference, the State Commission on Paedophilia presented the second report on its findings.

The extensive document, which includes detailed statistics on child sex abuse among family members and persons who have professional contact with minors, shows that in 106 cases (38 percent) referred to the commission, the indicated perpetrator was biologically related to the victim.

A parent was reported as the offender in 70 cases, siblings in four cases, grandparents in 16 cases, and other family members in 16 cases.

However, the majority of offenders were unrelated to the victim (in 122 cases), with the clergy being the largest group among them (57 cases). The report also mentions teachers, educators and guardians (nine cases), sports coaches (six cases), doctors (two cases), representatives of other religious associations (five cases), parents' partners (17 cases), family friends (six cases) and neighbours (19 cases).

Since its inception, in July 2020, the commission has handled a total of 513 cases and in the last 12 months submitted 96 notifications to the prosecutor's office about the likelihood of a crime being committed, including two notifications concerning concealment of knowledge about paedophilia. Over the last two years, the commission has notified the prosecutor's office 233 times in total.

In the cases dealt with by the commission, 161 victims were girls and 114 were boys. In some cases, mainly related to cybercrime, the gender could not be identified. A total of 82 victims were under the age of 10, and the youngest nine victims of paedophilia were under three years of age.

The vast majority of indicated perpetrators were men (265 people) as compared to 20 female offenders.