EXCLUSIVE CERTIFICATE. Tharn: raped by “troubadour priest”, victim breaks silence

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Isabelle was 16 years old when Father Jean Pradel, a priest famous for his religious songs, mocked her. Thanks to Sove’s report on pedophilia in the church, she decided to testify and file a complaint against a church man to give “a voice to other victims.”

The voice is trembling, but the tone is determined. Isabelle, 51, decided to stop her silence and “testify for others.” She just filed a rape complaint against Jean Pradel’s father. Facts undeniably prescribed today that refer to 1986 and 1997.

The representative of the Tarn Catholic environment, Jean Pradel, who is now 78 years old, is famous for his songs and evening entertainment. Together with his twin brother Pierre, who died in 2015, Jean Pradel wrote dozens of songs that were performed in scout camps or chaplains all over France. A troubadour priest who continues to perform in churches despite warnings from the Diocese of Albi since… 1994.

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Tharn: A “troubadour priest” who was the victim of a complaint about the rape of a minor in the diocese of Albi.

Rapes in 1986

In the summer of 1986, at the age of 16, Isabelle was allegedly abused by Jean Pradel during a group camp in Jucquiel (the border of Tarn and Aveyron). He entered the tent where she was sleeping, lay down on top of her, kissed her on the lips and caressed her. “All in front of his brother Pierre Pradel, who watched without interfering,” she adds. In the following weeks, two more sexual harassments would occur: in the priest’s car when he brought her to her parents, and at his home in the presbytery of Saint-Benoit-de-Carmo. Facts that Isabelle told on Thursday, April 7, before the prosecutor of the court, Albie Bernard Lavigne, when filing a complaint.

In 1997, during a school trip to Egypt organized by Father Pradelles, Isabelle was raped again. “Having arrived in Egypt, I feel completely removed from what is happening,” she explains. “When Pradelles arrives, I am nothing more than an empty envelope. be a sex toy.

Father Jean Pradel’s influence does not end there. Isabelle, from a very religious family of peasants in Aveyron and the mines of Carmo, married a priest’s nephew in 1991. It was he who celebrated the wedding and baptized his three children. Divorced since 1999, she initiated proceedings with Rome to annul this religious marriage based on invalid consent.

Already the first complaint in 1999.

In 1999, Isabelle is heard as a witness. Another woman had just filed a complaint against Father Jean Pradels for rape when she was 15 years old. “I did not dare then, and no one believed me. The investigation was closed, and the investigating chamber concluded that the case was dismissed in 2007.”

“I made two suicide attempts,” Isabelle explains. “I know that Jean Pradels never stopped. I’m sure there are facts that are less old than mine.

It is her meeting with Vicar General Bruno Bory, who works in Rabastan, that will push Isabelle to testify and write down all her problems. “Thanks to Bruno Bories, I met Monsignor Jean Legret, Archbishop of Albi, in April 2021. He was devastated, considered me and took into account my request for a dissolution of marriage with Jean Pradel’s nephew. He promised me to go further and made me meet the judge of canon law, Philippe Bastier.”

It took Isabelle over six months to put all these facts into writing. “I want to get rid of this marriage and free my children from this family. Jean Pradel muzzled me. The truth must be told and done.”

The investigation was carried out by the gendarmes of the Gaillac company. Jean Pradels still lives on his estate at Lombers in Tarn. He is the father of two children, the last of which was born in 1994. Until the death of his brother, he continued to accompany the latter during worship, read sermons and organize pilgrimages with teenagers.

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