November 30, 2021

Lyon. Former priest Bernard Preynat, convicted of sexual assault on minors, arrested and imprisoned in the Loire

The former priest Bernard Preynat, sentenced for sexual assault on minors, was arrested on the morning of Wednesday in the Loire, in execution of his sentence, indicates in a statement the prosecutor of Saint-Etienne.

He was arrested at the home of his sister, with whom he lived, reports Le Figaro.

The former Lyonnais priest, now 76 years old, was presented before a judge and imprisoned in the wake of the remand center of La Talaudière (Loire), specifies the prosecution of Saint-Etienne.

A request for a suspension of sentence for medical reasons

He was sentenced in March 2020 to five years in prison and registered in the automated judicial file of perpetrators of sexual offenses, for acts of sexual assault committed between 1986 and 1991 against young scouts, when he was a priest of the parish. Saint-Luc in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. However, he had not gone to prison since his sentence was not accompanied by a committal warrant.

Bernard Preynat had not appealed against this judgment, but had filed a request for suspension of sentence for medical reasons. The Lyon sentencing court rejected this request, considering, after medical expertise, that his state of health did not appear “lastingly incompatible with his placement in detention within the framework of a specialized prison care structure”. The Saint-Etienne prosecutor’s office therefore carried out his sentence.

“He goes to see a doctor when he arrives in prison”

“It is a sentence which is carried out”, declared to AFP Me Frédéric Dître, the lawyer of Bernard Preynat, refusing to “further comment” on this point.

“Mr. Preynat’s state of health is very worrying and a medical opinion must be given, which will be done because he will see a doctor when he arrives in prison. Either his state of health is compatible with imprisonment, or it is not and this will be another step, ”added the lawyer.