Sao Paulo - A Roman Catholic priest was arrested and charged withpaedophilia on Saturday after police allegedly found him abusing fourteenage boys at a hotel in northeastern Brazil, authorities said.
Felix Barbosa Carreiro was taken into custody after an anonymous tipled police to the hotel where Carreiro was allegedly abusing theteenagers, police officer Ana Carla Fernandes Silvestre said.
Carreiro, who did not resist the arrest, headed a small parish in the city of Sao Luis.
He admitted going out with the teenagers, but denied having sexual relations with them.
"I went out with them only to have fun," Carreiro told the Miranteradio station. "I never abused them sexually and always stayed true tomy obligations with the Church. I don't admit being called apaedophile."
Carreiro's lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment.
Police said Carreiro persuaded the teenagers to meet him by giving awaymoney and presents. Authorities said some of the teenagers were asyoung as 15 years old, but did not elaborate further on their ages.
Police said Carreiro likely abused other victims in the past.
"We have been investigating him for the past two months after we received accusations against him," Silvestre said.
He had been probed for abuse of minors in 2002, but was never charged because of lack of evidence, she said.
Authorities also were investigating the possibility Carreiro used internet chat rooms to attract his victims.
He could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison if convicted.