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Abuse alleged at choir before pope's brother arrived

An ever-widening sexual abuse scandal involving Germany's Roman Catholic Church spilled into the heart of Pope Benedict XVI's homeland Friday when a former member of a boy's choir led for 30 years by his brother said he was a victim, the Associated Press reports.

A spokesman for the Regensburg diocese, home to the Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir, said the abuse was alleged to have occurred before the Rev. Georg Ratzinger took over the choir in 1964, the AP reports.

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A former singer came forward with allegations church employees had sexually abused him in the early 1960s, spokesman Clemens Neck said.

Ratzinger, the pope's brother, took led the choir, comprosed of around 500 boys and young men, from 1964 until his retirement in 1994.

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Ratzinger told public radio Bayerischer Rundfunk on Friday he did not know of any abuse cases at the choir and another spokesman for the diocese, Jakob Schoetz, insisted the known cases of abuse did not happen during Ratzinger's tenure.

"The cases that are known to us at this time did not take place during his tenure," Schoetz wrote.

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