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Dutch Couple Who Secretly Filmed Porn Inside Church Cannot be Prosecuted, Rules Judge

( [email protected] ) Aug 16, 2017 10:45 AM EDT
August 16, 2017: The pastor of a church in the Netherlands has voiced his dismay after a judge ruled that a couple who secretly filmed a porn video inside the church "have not done anything criminal."
A special Mass took place in January to cleanse Saint Joseph's church. ALAMY

The pastor of a church in the Netherlands has voiced his dismay after a judge ruled that a couple who secretly filmed a porn video inside the church "have not done anything criminal."

As reported, the inappropriate video, filmed by a Dutch couple inside a confessional at the St. Joseph Church in Tilburg, was later published on an x-rated website owned by Dutch porn star Kim Holland.

When scenes of the sex acts were made public, Holland's company was bombarded with an onslaught of angry emails, prompting her to apologize and remove the images and video from her website.

In response to the outrage, Father Jan van Noorwegen, pastor of St. Joseph's, also sought legal action against the couple. However, this week, chief public prosecutor Charles van der Voort said it was impossible to prosecute anyone in the case, as blasphemy is not an offense and there was no question of unlawful entry into the church.

A spokeswoman from the public prosecutor's office said: "While the recording is very offensive and shows little respect, there is no punishable offense."

Van Noorwegen told reporters he was "disappointed" about the decision and warned it sets a disturbing precedent.

"Of course I am not happy with this," he said "Do we agree that the craziest things can happen in public buildings? Imagine. Be it inside a church, in the city hall or in a restaurant, apparently all is allowed."

Another senior official at the church, Harrie de Swart, said he was astounded by the prosecutor's decision, arguing that the filmmakers would clearly have had to climb over a fence to reach the confessional box.

"The justice ministry said we should have hung a no-entry sign on the church entrance. Then we could prosecute people who do this sort of thing. But it's absurd to stick that sort of sign on the door of a church," the BBC quotes him as telling the Omroep Brabant.

The St Joseph church was spiritually cleansed in a special church service after the sex incident, and the pastor asked God for forgiveness for the desecration of the premises, according to reports.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred: In 2014, a woman who filmed a pornographic video at a church in Austria was charged with offending religious feeling and desecration of a church. In 2016, the website PornXN came under fire after filming on the church graveyard without permission.

At the time, the church's pastor, Reverend Paul Tullett, called the move "shameful and upsetting: "The church is visited on a regular basis by mums and dads who've lost their children - and to think this sacred space, so treasured and valued, has been abused and used for something so inappropriate is shameful and upsetting," he said. "The parishioners and the whole community are all shocked and upset that something like this could happen in our church, and in our village."

He also criticized the star of the film for her offensive behavior: "It's a public space, so I don't think they've broken any rules or laws by filming on the grounds - although I think her acts were certainly illegal, her presence wasn't."

Tags : pornography, Dutch Church, St. Joseph's Church, Porn, sex industry