A Turkish court sentenced a teacher on Wednesday to centuries behind bars for sexually abusing 10 boys under his care at two religious foundations.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said the teacher was sentenced to 508 years and 3 months' imprisonment at the first hearing of a case that traumatized the country and led to accusations of a cover-up.
The 54-year-old man, named only as "M.B.," was charged with assaulting the boys, aged between 10 and 12, at boarding homes, one of which was run by a foundation linked to Turkey's ruling party.
Wednesday's hearing was held behind closed doors.
The country's minister for family affairs, Sema Ramazanoglu, sparked an outcry after she described the assaults as a one-time event and accused opposition parties of trying to besmirch the government-linked foundation.
The minister later survived a censure motion in parliament submitted by the opposition, which accused her of negligence in preventing violence against women and children.