Chile: Former Leaders of German Sect Sentenced

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The Supreme Court announced Monday that six former leaders of Colonia Dignidad, a German sect in southern Chile, had been sentenced to 5 to 11 years in prison for acting as accomplices to the sect's leader, Paul Schäfer, in the sexual abuse of minors in the 1990s. Ten other defendants received suspended sentences. One of the six, Dr. Harmut Hopp, fled to Germany in 2011, and the German government has denied Chile's requests for his extradition. Mr. Schäfer founded the self-sufficient religious sect in 1961 after fleeing West Germany, where he was accused of sexually abusing boys. He died in prison in 2010 while serving a 20-year sentence for the sexual abuse of 25 minors at the sect's compound. Colonia Dignidad also served as a clandestine torture center during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, according to official human rights reports.

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This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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