19 Year Old Arrested for Torture and Suffocation of French Priest

[Photo credit: Phil Noble/ Reuters]

On November 4th, a 19 year old identified only as Alexandre V. was found driving a car belonging to 91 year old Roger Matassoli.  He was, at the time, arrested for resisting arrest and driving without a license.


According to La Croix, once Alexandre's father was notified, he went to the home of Matassoli where Alexandre was employed as a housekeeper, he discovered the priest's body with clear signs of abuse. Police responded to the scene and determined that Matassoli had signs of trauma to his skull, face, and torso, and seemed to have been asphyxiated by a crucifix that had been shoved down his throat.


It didn't take long for authorities to determine that Alexandre was in "a delirious state," he was sent to a hospital where he had remained for nearly two months.


Earlier today he was officially charged with murder, torture, and resisting arrest.  He has told authorities that he has no recollection of the events for which he is charged.


Police are investigating Matassoli's death as a matter of revenge after it was revealed that both Alexandre and his father, Stéphane were reportedly abused by the priest.  According to reports, once Stéphane's father learnt of his son's abuse, he committed suicide.  Alexandre is also said to have attempted suicide after he was abused between the ages of 9 and 15.


"This man has shattered a whole family," Stéphane has been quoted as saying.


Matassoli is reported to have retired in 2009 after a career that was plagued with allegations about sexual abuse dating back to the 1960s which is reported to have resulted in his transfers on several occasions.  An official statement released after his death stated that he had been "banned from any ministry, even private" stemming from allegations of "inappropriate behavior on minors" which occurred "several decades ago."  This moratorium on ministry included even the celebration of Mass in private in his own home.


In 2018 the Beauvais prosecutor's office took statements from two boys that had alleged abuse at Matassoli's parish as altar boys, but the statute of limitations had run out so there was no further investigation into the matter.