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.
My thanks to the Daily Telegraph – Aussie edition – for reporting on a pastor (priest) in Sydney who faked terminal cancer to hide the fact that he was addicted to Internet porn.
Incredibly, the pastor, who had released a hit song that reached number two in the Ozzie religious charts, and whose wife gave up her job to care for him, was only rumbled by his Church after they reportedly became suspicious about fake emails he had sent himself from “medical practitioners.”
Bizarrely, Father Guglielmucci forced himself to vomit all over himself every night and appears to have drugs to remove all his hair.
And all to hide a 16-year obsession with porn.
“This is who I am – I’m addicted to the stuff, it consumes my mind,” he told the paper, adding that he is sick why he had to come up some ort of explanation of what was happening to his body.
I’d say he is sick, but not in the manner to which he describes himself.
His wife – even though she now knows the scale of his frauds – appears to think otherwise and says he’s still a good man, but has been rapped by lies that have spiralled out of control.
16 years of porn addiction? Jeez – that means he was downloading smut on dial-up modem connections.
Now that is sick…
Melbourne, Aug 30 (ANI): A catholic priest, who claims that his back yard full of cannabis plants is a gift from God, has been placed under constant surveillance by police.
Father Cyril Papudov, of Petrich, Bulgaria, has been arrested seven times but police have never caught him actually cultivating the crop.
He insists that the cannabis seeded by itself and is part of God’’s gift of nature and nothing to do with him.
There has been a great deal of suspicion over the years about what is going on with these plants, Daily Telegraph quoted police, as saying.
“He is a man of the cloth and so a lot of people don”t want to think badly of him but frankly if someone has a huge crop of cannabis in their back garden it’’s highly unlikely they are just sitting there admiring its horticultural properties,” the police added.
They are now planning a 24-hour surveillance on the priest
“By keeping a watch on the plants we can make sure this is the case and put an end to any suspicions over the purpose of these plants once and for all, ” the police said. (ANI)
[Source] August 29, 2008:
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A lawyer whose client won a $5 million verdict against the Catholic Diocese of Belleville over allegations of sexual abuse says he has a second case to bring to trial.
Belleville attorney Mike Weilmuenster says he has filed suit on behalf of a second man who claims he was sexually abused by the Reverend Raymond Kownacki decades ago.
On Wednesday, a jury awarded $5 million to 47-year-old James Wisniewski (wihs-NOO’-skee). He had claimed the diocese knew Kownacki was a danger to children but did nothing.
The attorney says a second man identified in court papers as “John Doe” was an altar boy at St. Theresa’s Parish in Salem when Kownacki began molesting him in 1979.
Kownacki has not been charged criminally and has not commented on the allegations.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
TUCSON, Ariz. — A Web site with a name like Puresextucson.com is not something you’d expect a Southern Baptist pastor to brag about.
But not only is 27-year-old Jeremiah McDuffie flaunting the site — created it.
McDuffie sent not-so-subtle mailers this week to 35,000 Tucson homes: postcards showing a photo of four feet peeking out from under bedcovers in a suggestive pose.
He also took out full-page advertisements in two local newspapers.
McDuffie, pastor of The Element Community Church, explains that he wants us to know that God wants them to have good sex.
Ultimately, he hopes to open up dialogue on a subject he says is too often regarded as taboo in houses of worship. Yet it’s also at the root of so many issues he hears about from worshippers and others who seek him out for pastoral counseling, he said.
“Sex wasn’t invented in a dark alley behind a porn shop. It’s part of God’s design,” McDuffie’s Web site says.
Not everyone has been happy to receive the mailers. The Catalina Baptist Association, the organization whose name is on the back of the flier, has received a few dozen irate calls, and The Element has had a few, too.
“The negative calls we’ve had were basically from people saying this was a subject we shouldn’t be dealing with in church, that it’s inappropriate,” said McDuffie, who confesses he was once a porn addict.
McDuffie’s in-your-face message is meant to attract people to a series of sermons about sex that he’ll be giving on consecutive Sundays beginning Sept. 7. The first one is titled, “The Greatest Sex You’ll Ever Have.“
It’s an interesting topic for a pastor whose one-year-old church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination with a conservative reputation.
McDuffie said that while he’ll be using the Bible in his sermons, he doesn’t plan on telling worshippers what they can and cannot do.
“This is not a ‘don’t have sex’ talk,” said McDuffie, who is restricting his sermons to those age 13 and older.
The Element is one of more than two dozen “plant” churches that the denomination has started in Tucson in recent years. The plant churches are typically contemporary in worship style — with rock bands instead of hymns and auditoriums rather than sanctuaries — and they don’t have the word “Baptist” in their names.
The Element is not the only such church talking about sex. Also on Sept. 7, two other local Baptist “plant churches” will hold events titled “Porn Sunday.”
One of those churches, CityEdge, is even having a wet-T-shirt contest in recognition of Porn Sunday.
“It’s actually just a couple of our guys being silly, wearing wet T-shirts,” said the Rev. Billy Creech, the 34-year-old pastor of CityEdge, which is just four months old.
But Creech said the message behind Porn Sunday is a serious one. Like McDuffie, he wants to broach subjects that are normally not discussed in church — at least not with frankness. Porn Sunday opens a series of sermons at CityEdge titled “The Unspeakable.” Other subjects include money, work and sex.
“Let’s stop hiding things and stop playing ‘church,’ ” Creech said. “People are tired of that. Instead of pointing fingers at what our culture is doing, we want to be real and talk about who we are in here.”
[Source] August 29, 2008:
AN AUSTRALIAN pastor who inspired hundreds of thousands of people with his fight against terminal cancer has admitted he faked his illness to hide an addiction to porn.
Police are now investigating disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci over the collection of public donations to his cancer cause.
The alarm is understood to have been raised by the Hillsong Church in Sydney which revealed the pastor’s hoax in an email.
His deception was so great his wife quit work to care for him, he forced himseld to vomit regularly at night and even lost his hair to fool his family and the public about the extent of his illness.
Guglielmucci, whose parents established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church, had earlier this year released a hit song, The Healer, which debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts and was featured on Sydney Hillsong church’s latest album.
It since has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Guglielmucci – more than 300,000 people have watched one performance on YouTube.
In a frank TV interview, Guglielmucci explained fabricating a terminal cancer battle to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.
“This is who I am – I’m addicted to the stuff, it consumes my mind,” he said of pornography.
“… I’m sick and this is why I had to come up some sort of explanation of what was happening in my body.”
The shame manifested itself physically, resulting in him losing his hair and purging his body.
“I don’t know how you can fake vomiting all over yourself night after night after night, I’m not that good an actor,” he said.
To conceal the two-year cancer lie which he hid from his wife and family, he sent phoney emails to his loved ones from non-existent medical practitioners.
“I’ve been living a lie for a long time,” he told the Seven Network’s Today Tonight. “I’ve been hiding who I am for so long. I can honestly say to you that the last two years have been hell for me physically, emotionally, but I never sat down and said … let’s try and fool the world.”
Detectives have begun investigating claims that disgraced pastor Michael Guglielmucci deceived people into donating money to a fake cancer cause.
The South Australian police commercial and electronic crime branch has contacted officers in Victoria and New South Wales.
It has also been checking various Pentecostal church-related websites.
Guglielmucci’s wife, however, has vowed to try to save their marriage, despite the humiliating revelations of his cancer hoax and pornography addiction.
Amanda Guglielmucci, 29, has also defended her husband, insisting he is a good man, trapped by lies which had spiralled out of control.
“I know he’s not an evil man, there’s not evil in his heart,” she said yesterday.
Mrs Guglielmucci, who is staying in their Sydney home while Michael is with his family in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, said she would try to salvage her marriage.
“I know that I love him, I know that much,” she said.
“We’re just not going to rush anything, we’re gonna walk through the process, however slowly it needs to happen, in order for the healing and restoration to be complete and then we’ll go from there.”
She has turned to a counsellor to help cope with her husband’s massive deception, which has shocked not only his family’s church, Edge Church International, but the world-wide Christian movement.
Just over two weeks ago, the world-renowned pastor and songwriter sat his wife of seven years down at their Sydney home and told her the awful truth.
“I was the first one he told, he confessed everything to me,” Mrs Guglielmucci said.
“He just went through it – where it had started, everything in his life as a young kid, the patterns. He was crying, sobbing actually, absolutely sobbing, he just said ‘I don’t have cancer’.
“He was terrified, I still remember the look on his face . . . it was a very hard moment for him, as it was for me hearing it.”
Despite his elaborate deception and his admission of an addiction to adult pornography, Mrs Guglielmucci said it was feelings of sympathy and shock rather than anger that overwhelmed her.
“I could just see a really broken, unwell man. At that point I found it really quite hard to get angry,” she said.
“Seeing your husband of seven years absolutely sobbing in front of you, risking everything coming forward and telling the truth – in that instance it was really hard to be angry or mad.”
Mrs Guglielmucci said she understood people struggled to believe she could not have known her husband was faking his illness. However, she maintained his real symptoms – vomiting, hair loss and apparent pain – never gave her reason to suspect otherwise.
“I never questioned it, when you love someone you trust them. I had no reason not to trust him,” she said.
“Perhaps I feel a little bit foolish in this, hindsight’s a fabulous thing . . . but I’m trying not to beat myself up.”
Mrs Guglielmucci even quit work to look after her ailing husband. “In the middle of the night he was in so much pain I would put towels in the microwave to try and give him some relief in his back,” she said.
However, she never attended doctors’ appointments with him, a move she now regrets.
Dubbo Catholic priest Father Paul Devitt yesterday spoke in support of St Stanislaus’ College at Bathurst as police broadened an investigation into alleged sexual assaults at the prestigious boarding school 30 years ago.
A 65-year-old former priest has been charged with 33 counts of sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on five juveniles, aged between 10 and 18.
The man has faced court and is scheduled to reappear next month. Since then, more people have come forward alleging similar assaults by a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers.
The St Stanislaus’ investigation is ongoing and people with concerns are urged to contact police.
Father Devitt stressed the alleged assaults happened during the 1970s and 80s and police were not looking into anything in the current day.
“St Stanislaus’ has been co-operating with the police completely and the principal informed parents of the allegations long before they came to the attention of the media,’’ Father Devitt said.
“Sexual, physical and mental abuse occurs in … families and has been associated with all faiths and institutions.
“The Catholic church has had a series of protocols in place since the clergy scandal broke in the 1990s. The aim is to assist those who have experienced abuse to find healing.’’
Father Devitt said people with claims of abuse should inform police and proven offenders should be answerable to the full force of the law.
“Abuse is something done secretly and individually,’’ he said. “Thousands of kids who attended St Stanislaus’ during the time of the alleged assaults wouldn’t have known anything was wrong.’’
Police urge alleged victims to come forward
All victims of an alleged paedophile ring at a Catholic boys’ school in Bathurst are being urged to come forward by the NSW police.
Shocking allegations have surfaced about years of sexual abuse at St Stanislaus’ College from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
At least 13 alleged victims have come forward since local police were first alerted last year by men claiming to have been abused while they were students at the private school.
A 65-year-old former priest is now facing 33 charges, following allegations a paedophile ring of priests and teachers had operated at the school.
The first signs of trouble at St Stanislaus’ College emerged when an ex-student posted allegations of sexual abuse on a website in August last year.
Police have asked anyone else who fell victim to the alleged abuse to contact police.
“I would imagine it would be very hard for anyone subject to these sort of things to come forward,” Detective Superintendent Michael Goodwin said.
Supt Goodwin said police inquiries had not led officers to any other schools where former St Stanislaus’ staff may have also been employed.
“I can confirm that there’s no one at the school at the moment that is subject to that inquiry,” he said
On May 23, the former priest was charged with offences relating to sexual assault and gross acts of indecency of boys aged between 10 and 18 years old.
St Stanislaus’ College principal John Edwards yesterday said the school was determined to address historic sexual abuse allegations “as openly and as comprehensively as possible”.
Adopting an “open door policy”, Mr Edwards said the allegations against a former teaching priest at St Stanislaus’ dating back to 1986 was a matter of “grave concern”, and there must be “open and transparent discussion”.
The headmaster gave assurances the school had significant policies and practices in place.
“Our risk management policies and practices were extensively examined by the NSW Board of Studies inspectors as recently as June, 2008,” Mr Edwards said.
There was a feeling of shock among several ex-students of Stannies following the revelations.
Local businessman Pip McIntosh attended Stannies from 1979-1984.
He said yesterday he never had any idea, or heard any rumours, of the allegations which have surfaced.
“I didn’t have a clue these types of things were going on,” he said. “I never heard any mention of it. When I read the newspapers this morning I was shocked, just dumbfounded.
“However, I really feel for the victims of the abuse.
“I hope the offenders get the justice they deserve once all this comes out.”
Mr McIntosh said he has only fond memories of his time at Stannies.
“I had a great time up there,” he said. “The best thing about the school was the sport and the mateship. I made lifelong friends.”
[Source] August 28, 2008:
ORGIES involving up to 60 schoolboys, priests and teachers are among allegations levelled at former staff members of a NSW Catholic boarding school.
The Seven Network last night reported claims that nine former teachers and priests from St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, in eastern NSW, had committed sexual abuse on students during “hypnotic” night prayer services in the 1980s.
An alleged victim, whose identity was withheld for legal reasons, said the number of victims involved in the encounters had grown over time.
“It started out on a one-on-one basis and then in small groups of between eight and 12, and then on one occasion there was a large group of at least 60.”
St Stanislaus headmaster John Edwards yesterday said he was served with a search warrant last month that named three former staff.
“There were three former staff members who were listed on the search warrant, but only one of them had the word ‘accused’ next to their name,” MrEdwards said.
The accused is a 65-year-old former Catholic priest who served at the school and now faces 33 charges relating to sexual assault and gross acts of indecency on juveniles aged between 10 and 18.
Detective Superintendent Michael Goodwin of Chifley Local Area Command yesterday said police were investigating the claims of 13 alleged victims, but he could not say how many former staff members were under investigation.
Police initially identified five victims when the investigations began last August, with a further eight coming forward after the priest was arrested in May.
There was no suggestion any of the alleged offenders remained at the school.
“The allegations centre around the period of 1970 to the early 1980s. So, at this stage, all the inquiries are at least over 20 years old,” Superintendent Goodwin said.
Some media reports said as many as 40 former students had come forward with claims of abuse at the hands of school staff.
The Daily Telegraph yesterday published interviews with alleged victims that claimed boys at the school were subjected to sexual abuse during night prayer sessions and were sometimes forced to abuse each other in orgies.
“They got a group of between eight and 12 of us together and they’d just start chanting and I would wake up during these sessions and see what was going on,” one of the alleged victims said. “It was like an orgy.”
Superintendent Goodwin would not comment on claims made in the article, saying it was a “sensitive investigation”.
He urged other victims to contact police. “I’d imagine it would be very hard for anyone that’s subject to these sort of things to come forward,” he said.
“NSW Police Force will be providing every form of support we possibly can to make the process for them as trouble-free as possible.”
Hetty Johnston, of the Bravehearts sexual abuse victims support group, supported the plea.