A former priest has been charged with 93 child sex offences stemming from an alleged paedophile ring operating in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The 65-year-old was arrested in connection with offences police allege took place at a Catholic boys’ school in New South Wales, Australia.
Police suspect dozens of boys may have been abused during alleged “hypnotic prayer” sessions at St Stanislaus College, located 45 miles east of Sydney, according to local media reports.
The former priest, who was not named in the statement, was charged in May with 33 offences and has been issued with another 60 offences relating to at least 13 alleged victims, police said.
The allegations reportedly included claims of late night prayer and chanting sessions in which boys were sexually abused.
The priest is the fourth person arrested by the Strike Force Belle police unit, which is investigating a number of sexual offences that allegedly occurred at one Catholic and one Anglican school in the town of Bathurst, according to a police statement.
“We are currently sifting through a significant amount of information and as a result we have broadened this investigation.
“Inquiries are continuing and we cannot rule out further arrests.”
The allegations come just five weeks after Pope Benedict apologised for sexual abuse in the Church during a visit to Sydney.
An ex-priest has been charged with 60 additional child sex offences stemming from an alleged paedophile ring at a Catholic boy’s school in Bathurst.
The 65-year-old was arrested and charged with the offences that police allege took place at St Stanislaus’ College from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
News Limited reported that eight more former students had come forward to tell their stories of being abused during those years.
Police suspect dozens of boys may have been abused during alleged hypnotic “prayer” sessions at the boarding school in central western NSW.
The names of at least three former staffers of the college appeared on a police search warrant when detectives arrived to the school in July to search its archives.
The ex-priest was charged at Hurstville police station.
He was previously charged in May with 33 offences stemming from evidence of alleged victims, and now faces a total of 93 charges relating to at least 13 alleged victims.
He was released on bail on Tuesday and is due to appear at Bathurst Local Court on September 15.
Currently, 615 boys attend St Stanislaus’, of which 188 are borders.
St Stanislaus’ principal John Edwards said last week he first became aware of the allegations several years ago and referred the claims to police.
He said the allegations included claims of late night prayer and chanting sessions in which boys were sexually abused.
Edwards said the school was served with a search warrant on July 3 which stated the names of three former staff members.
Police have laid 60 fresh charges against a former Catholic priest who allegedly sexually abused students at a private boys boarding school in central west New South Wales.
Brian Spillane taught at St Stanislaus college in Bathurst in the 1970s and 1980s and faced court last month on 33 charges relating to sexual assault of five former students.
His court appearance prompted another eight alleged victims to come forward, saying they too had been abused druring late-night prayer sessions.
A special police strike force was set up to investigate claims against Spillane and two other former St Stanislaus staff members.
Yesterday the former priest was arrested at Narwee and taken to Hurstville police station.
He was charged with 60 new offences, bringing the total number of charges against him to 93.
He was bailed and will appear in Bathurst local court on September 15, but his lawyer has already expressed concern that he will not get a fair trial because of the way the case has been covered by the media.