Vatican envoy to France under investigation for sexual assault: judicial source

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 15 2019 08:33 PM

In this file photo taken on November 7, 2010 Italian bishop Luigi Ventura, the Apostolic Nuncio to France, attends a mass 7, 2010 in Lourdes, southern France, as part of the annual Plenary session of French bishops. Remy Gabalda, AFP

PARIS- The Vatican's envoy to France is being investigated for sexual assault after he was accused of molesting an official at the Paris mayor's office during a ceremony last month, a judicial source told AFP.

The envoy, 74-year-old Luigi Ventura, has been based in Paris since 2009 and serves as a diplomat for Pope Francis.

He was accused of molesting a man at the Paris townhall on January 17 where mayor Anne Hidalgo gave a New Year's address to diplomats, religious leaders, and civil society figures.

A complaint was filed by the mayor's office on January 24 which led to an investigation being opened the day after, the judicial source said.

Le Monde newspaper first reported the investigation and the allegations against Ventura on Friday.