A Brazilian priest mentioned in the Catholic clergy sex abuse film Spotlight was found dead in a prison cell after he was arrested again for suspected pedophilia, authorities said on Monday. Father Bonifacio Buzzi, 57, hanged himself with a sheet in a jail in the state of Minas Gerais where he was taken after his arrest on Friday, the state government said in a statement. A decade ago Buzzi was convicted of abusing a 10-year-old boy in Mariana, Minas Gerais and jailed from 2007 to 2015. He was arrested last week following criminal complaints that he had molested two boys aged 9 and 13.
Buzzi was cited among the pedophilia cases listed at the end of Spotlight, the Oscar-winning 2015 film based on the Boston Globe newspaper’s investigation of sexual abuses by Catholic priests and efforts by the Boston Archdiocese to cover them up.
Allegations against Buzzi first emerged in the 1990s in his home state of Santa Catarina. In 1995 he was convicted of molesting two boys in his parish near Mariana after their parents accused him of performing oral sex on their children.
Buzzi got a reduced sentence and the Catholic Church obtained a court order allowing him to serve it out at the home of the local archbishop.