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.
AMSTERDAM – A Montgomery County grand jury indicted a Catholic priest on charges he sexually abused three local children.
The abuse is said to have occurred in the small Montgomery County town of Palatine.
But the Rev. John W. Broderick most recently worked for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, not the Albany Diocese.
Broderick faces three counts of sexual conduct with a child younger than 11 years old.
The indictment indicates three separate victims and that the alleged abused occurred between 2005 and 2007. The court papers also state Broderick provided alcohol to the underage children.
At the time of his February arrest, state police characterized Broderick as a spiritual advisor to the family of the boys he’s now accused of abusing.
The Montgomery County district attorney is handling the criminal prosecution and attorney John Aretakis claims he’s representing the family in a civil suit.
“A lot of times I’m criticized because the claims are 20 to 30 years old. Well, this claim is not. This abuse happened in 2007,” Aretakis said.
The Syracuse Diocese suspended Broderick without pay weeks before his arrest. A spokeswoman for that diocese said Tuesday the suspension was not related to the sex charges and adds that Broderick had been unassigned — meaning he wasn’t working at a church — for the past four years.
Albany Diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb says they only learned about the arrest of the Syracuse-based priest through media reports and that the Montgomery County family hasn’t contacted them either.
“The family never came to us with a complaint. We don’t even know who they are. Certainly we’d assist them if they did,” Goldfarb said.
Aretakis claims there are two additional victims — one too afraid to testify and another whose grand jury testimony didn’t lead to an indictment.
Disgraced Baptist pastor Royden Wood has this morning been sentenced to one year in jail and three years’ probation.
The former church minister was convicted of assault and sexual assault involving church members.
Last week, Wood — the former pastor at the now-defunct Ambassador Baptist Church — seemed unconcerned at the prospect of jail time.
“It was fun. It doesn’t scare me a bit,” he said, his wife Linda by his side.
“I had a good time there,” he said of his time awaiting bail. “I have an intense and passionate desire to help people and I was a tremendous blessing to many in jail. The other inmates were constantly asking me, ‘Why are you so happy?’ It’s easy to be in jail. It’s hard to be out here.”
Wood was convicted in April of nine assaults on three boys at the church’s alternative school in the 1980s, and three sex-related charges involving two female church members who had breasts touched over their clothing. Six more sexual assault charges were laid in July.
Catholic priest John Fleming is standing down from his duties and pledging full cooperation as the church and police investigate alleged sexual misconduct.
In a written statement, he denied ever engaging in sexual behaviour with a minor.
Father Fleming said he was shocked and sickened by claims made by three people in weekend newspapers.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide asked the priest to return from Sydney to deal with the allegations dating back three decades.
The church has hired a high-profile lawyer for its inquiry.
Father Fleming has been one of the most recognisable faces in church circles for years; a keen debater on subjects from ethics to the monarchy.
He quit as an Anglican in the 1980s to join the Catholic Church, becoming one of only a few married Catholic priests.
For the past three years he has been head of Campion College, a Catholic learning centre in Sydney’s west.
Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson has sought his return to Adelaide.
“I am aware of the serious allegations that have been made,” he said.
Police probe first
The reported claims are of sexual misconduct with an underage girl dating back to the 1970s.
An investigation by the Anglican Church is on hold, pending the result of police inquires.
The Catholic Church has hired a senior QC Michael Abbott to conduct its own inquiry into how the church has dealt with the claims.
“We will place no limits on the extent of his investigations,” a statement said.
A spokesman for Cardinal George Pell in Sydney has confirmed he wrote to the claimant and told her to contact police.
He also referred the matter back to the Catholic Church in South Australia.
[Source] August 31, 2008:
BURLINGTON, Vt.—The church therapist who treated a Vermont Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting boys later became the target of a Massachusetts lawsuit alleging he, too, engaged in sex acts with a boy for nine years, beginning when the boy was 9.
The Rev. Thomas Kane of Whitinsville, Mass., was executive director of the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville. That’s where the Diocese of Burlington sent the Rev. Edward Paquette to be treated after learning Paquette had molested two boys in Rutland.
Court papers in Vermont and Massachusetts indicate the dates of Kane’s alleged abuse of the Uxbridge, Mass., boy — 1968 to 1977 — coincide with the period from 1974 to 1978 that Paquette was being treated, for much of the time via monthly visits, at the House of Affirmation.
There’s no evidence that officials in the Vermont diocese, including then-Bishop John Marshall, were aware of Kane’s alleged sexual misconduct during the period he was providing therapy to Paquette.
Kane’s alleged victim filed suit in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston in 1993; the case settled out of court two years later for $42,500. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.
Nineteen lawsuits have been filed in Vermont alleging that Paquette molested boys while serving as a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland in the 1970s. Four have ended with jury verdicts or been settled out of court and 15 are pending.
Church records in Vermont show that Marshall knew Paquette had a history of molesting boys at parishes in Massachusetts and Indiana, but allowed him to join the Vermont diocese after being told by a church psychiatrist in Indiana that Paquette’s problem had been cured.
Kane also provided a positive review of Paquette’s progress in therapy. “It is my opinion that Father Paquette should return as soon as possible to a parish setting and observe the signals of caution which we have discussed,” Kane wrote to Marshall on Nov. 6., 1974.
Another exchange of letters between Kane and Marshall in 1978 showed new allegations of sexual misconduct were being directed at Paquette.
Marshall wrote to Kane that he was considering leaving Paquette in his role as parish priest at Christ the King Church in Burlington despite the new allegations.
“Despite the demands of two sets of irate parents that ‘something be done about this,’ Father Paquette’s pastor and I are determined to take the risk of leaving him in his present assignment,” Marshall wrote to Kane on April 4, 1978.
“Our thinking is that, knowing the awareness of others concerning his problem, Father Paquette will have reason for ‘self control’,” the bishop added. “Do you agree with this thinking?”
Kane replied, “I do agree with your thinking. I do not believe it is ‘too risky’ to leave Father Paquette in his present assignment but, of course, can make no predictions.”
Later that month, increased pressure from parents in the parish forced Marshall to change his mind. He wrote to Kane, “The situation had become so explosive that I had no other recourse but to ask Father Paquette to leave the parish immediately.”
No telephone listing could be found Sunday for Edward Paquette at his last known address in Westfield, Mass. A message left at the headquarters of the Diocese of Worcester, which includes Whitinsville, was not immediately returned Sunday. News reports from 2002 placed Kane in Mexico.
A former Fort Worth pastor has been sentenced to 10 years’ probation for sexually assaulting a teenage church member.
James “Jay” Virtue Robinson the Fourth was sentenced Friday afternoon after pleading guilty, which means he must register as a sex offender for life.
Police say some of the liaisons with the teenage girl happened inside Southwood Baptist Church.
Robinson resigned in July, a month after his arrest.
He received deferred adjudication. That means if he completes probation, the case will be dismissed and no conviction will be on his record, although the arrest will remain.
FORT WORTH — For the second time in less than a week, Jay Virtue Robinson publicly confessed his sins.
On Sunday night, the former senior pastor of Southwood Baptist Church stood before the congregation he once led and admitted that he had done what he’d been accused of — having an inappropriate relationship with an underage church member.
On Friday afternoon, his admission came in the form of the word “guilty” before Judge Everett Young and the victim’s family in a Tarrant County courtroom.
In exchange for pleading guilty to sexual assault, Robinson was sentenced to 10 years of deferred-adjudication probation. He will have to register as a sex offender for life.
“Why didn’t you just confess from the very beginning?” the victim, now 18, wrote in a statement to Robinson that a prosecutor read aloud during the hearing. “Did you really think that you could get away with all the lying? Not only did you hurt me with all your lying but you hurt so many other people.”
The Star-Telegram typically does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Robinson, who was accompanied during the hearing by his brother and a man described as his pastor and friend, walked away when asked whether he wished to comment after the hearing.
His attorney, Cheyenne Minick, said Robinson is remorseful.
“We stand by what happened today in court,” Minick said.
Robinson was arrested June 18, accused of having had a relationship with the victim that included sexual contact when she was 16.
The case came to light in February after the girl’s father overheard a conversation that was sexual in nature between his daughter and a man he later learned was Robinson. The father brought the issue to the church council, and then to police after learning that the sexual relationship had begun while his daughter was a minor.
The allegations divided Southwood Baptist.
Robinson vehemently denied any wrongdoing and garnered the support of the church council and many members who believed he was innocent.
“An accusation of moral failure has been leveled against me. This accusation is false,” Robinson wrote in a letter to Southwood members March 17, urging that members in discord be “shunned according to Scripture.”
Other members, including one council member, believed that phone records of numerous late-night calls between Robinson and the teen supported the alleged relationship and that Robinson should have been removed from his leadership role.
Several voluntarily left Southwood. Others were removed by armed guards during Sunday services one weekend. Many have formed a new church.
Robinson resigned from the church last month on the advice of attorneys. He reportedly returned Sunday night, stood before the congregation, admitted his wrongdoing and said he had lied.
Bill Vassar, lead prosecutor in the case, said all the victim’s family wanted was for Robinson to accept his responsibility and admit his guilt.
The victim’s father said Friday afternoon that a couple of church members, but no council members, had contacted him since Robinson’s admission at church, asking for his family’s forgiveness.
Too emotional to address Robinson herself during the hearing, the victim allowed prosecutor Kim D’Avignon to read aloud the statement that she’d written for the former pastor. The teen sat in the witness stand, crying and looking away from Robinson.
“I loved you and I thought you did me, but I guess not because all you cared to do was cover your butt,” it said. “If you had just come clean from the beginning I wouldn’t have been called all the horrible names that I was but it’s OK because I am strong and I could handle it because I knew God was on my side.”
Her statement finished by saying she forgave Robinson for the lies and the hurt that he caused.
“I wish you the best of luck in life and I hope you get all the help that you need,” she wrote.
Present day Bishop Paul-André Durocher took the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Friday to explain his transition into a diocese wrought with scandal.
Durocher, who was coming from Sault Ste. Marie at the time in 2002, shared his thoughts on learning of the local child sex abuse allegations and how as the new Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall he dealt with established diocesan policies on the subject.
“So what was your sense of the whole thing . . . ?” asked Inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude about Durocher’s perusal of a file by Father Gilles Deslauriers, who was convicted on 11 counts of gross indecency and other sexual misconduct in 1986.
“My first reaction was that I wanted to go punch this guy in the face,” Durocher responded.
“I was disgusted. I was disgusted that this priest had abused his power that way to abuse young people. It felt terrible. And he’s a priest and I’m a priest — it made me ashamed.”
Durocher then wiped his eyes with a tissue.
The 54-year-old bishop is now in his second stint in the witness box at the inquiry, which is probing how institutions like the church handled allegations of historical sexual abuse.
Durocher said he’d heard “echoes” of the events surrounding Deslauriers before he got the job with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, but didn’t learn about other allegations, such as those involving Father Charles MacDonald, until after he’d arrived in Cornwall, at which time MacDonald’s sex abuse charges were soon to be stayed.
Durocher had some connection with his predecessor, Bishop Eugene LaRocque, through federal and provincial bishop conferences. Durocher was an auxiliary bishop at the time.
Interestingly, LaRocque had previously worked at a parish in a suburb of Windsor where Durocher had lived in 1963.
“It was a surprise for me to discover that later on,” said Durocher during questioning by inquiry commission counsel Pierre Dumais.