Priest, football coach among 11 arrested in Italy child sex ring probe

ROME (AFP) - A priest and a junior football coach were among 11 people arrested in northern Italy on charges of paying for sex with minors, police said on Thursday (Feb 11).

The arrests in the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions follow a six-month investigation led by detectives in Brescia into a prostitution network which used social media to put the minors in contact with potential clients.

The accused priest was named by his diocese as Diego Rota, 45, a parish priest in the village of Solza near the city of Bergamo.

"The serious charges which Don Rota is accused of have caused amazement, dismay and profound pain to the bishop and our whole community," said monsignor Giulio Dellavite, Secretary-General of the Bergamo diocese's administration.