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A Catholic priest in Sicily has been charged with seeking sexual favors from migrants fleeing the Middle East and Africa in exchange for help with residency visas.

“The sexual crimes relate to a number of subjects, both underage and adults, all non-EU citizens with whom the priest was in contact through his position within Caritas,” prosecutor Marcello Viola told reporters.

“He forced young people through sexual favors, through pressure, using his senior role,” Viola added.

60,000 migrants have been rescued at sea by Italy in the first half of this year, most people fleeing conflict zones such as Syria.

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