Priest arrested for ‘raping mentally handicapped victim’ in Latvia | Daily Mail Online Catholic priest is arrested for ‘raping mentally handicapped victim of human trafficking’ in Latvia, ahead of a visit by the Pope

• Second man was also arrested on suspicion of trafficking in the case, police say

A Catholic priest has been arrested over claims he raped a mentally handicapped victim of human trafficking in Latvia.

The priest, identified as Pavels Zeila, 73, served in the Aglona-Rezekne diocese in eastern Latvia, which is to host Pope Francis during a four-day tour of the three Baltic states later this month.

A second man was also arrested on suspicion of trafficking in the case, which has shocked the Baltic state as it prepares to receive the Pope from September 22.

<img id=”i-c618ca8f8da537d0″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/09/06/12/23AE4D5E00000578-0-image-a-1_1536232452489.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”421″ alt=”A Catholic priest has been arrested over claims he raped a mentally handicapped victim of human trafficking in Latvia, police in Riga (pictured) have revealed”/>

A Catholic priest has been arrested over claims he raped a mentally handicapped victim of human trafficking in Latvia, police in Riga (pictured) have revealed

‘One of the suspects “delivered” the defenceless victim for a fee, the church representative, who was the end buyer, paid the fee and then committed violent sexual crimes against the victim,’ said Armands Lubarts, chief of a police task force on human trafficking and pimping.

Zeila’s lawyer flatly denied the allegations and the Catholic diocese of Rezekne said Zeila must be presumed innocent.