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  Home :: 2006 October :: Former priest granted bail on child sex charge
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/21/1087669904994.html?from=storylhs
 

Former priest granted bail on child sex charge

June 21, 2004 - 5:14PM
 

A former Anglican priest charged with indecent assault in Adelaide today has been allowed to return to Queensland.

The59-year-old man appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court today and wasgranted bail on condition he report to Mackay police station inQueensland twice a week.

The man, who cannot be named, must not be in the company of anyone under the age of 18 unless they are a relative.

He was today ordered to surrender his passport to the court and not contact his alleged victim, who was not named.

The man, who was handcuffed during his court appearance, made no comment and was not required to enter a plea.

Hiscase will come before the court again in August, although he will notbe required to attend court until September, when he is expected toanswer the charge.

The man, who was extradited from Queensland atthe weekend, was one of nine people charged or reported for variousoffences by the paedophile task force set up last year by the SouthAustralian police.

They include two former Anglican ministers and two former church workers.

The other eight men facing sex abuse allegations will appear in court at a later date.

LawyerSusan Litchfield, representing about 30 victims who have launched classaction against the church, said there was still a long way to go beforethere was closure for victims.

"These arrests are not a conviction," she said.

Police said they expected further arrests to be made, with some allegations dating back 50 years.

"Thereare other people that are the subject of ongoing investigations,"Detective Superintendent Grant Stevens told reporters yesterday.

"There is still quite a long way to go, this is only the first stage in the process.

"It's anticipated that the investigation will result in further arrests."

ButDet Supt Stevens today said the availability of evidence in some caseswas hampered by the time that had passed since the alleged events, withsome victims too young at the time to accurately recall events.

He said it was not worthwhile prosecuting some suspects because of their age.

"Thereare some difficulties and we have tried to maintain realisticexpectations for the people who report these crimes," he told ChannelSeven.

He said many victims felt rewarded by being able to tell their stories.

"Somevictims see this as part of the healing process, to come forward, havetheir story listened to and believed, and for some sort of responsebeing provided by the police and other aspects of the judicial system,"he said.

The acting head of the Anglican Church in Adelaide,Archdeacon John Collas, today said he would talk directly with abusevictims.

"I understand the need to talk," he told ABC radio.

"Already there have been a number of approaches to me of people who want to talk to me.

"It will be one of my major time allotments."

Hesaid those arrested at the weekend were not currently working withinthe church, although "they may be sitting in a pew somewhere".

SA'spolice paedophile task force was established in June last year aftertwo Anglican clergymen went public with claims of up to 200 child sexabuses cases within the Adelaide diocese.

The controversytriggered the resignation of Archbishop Ian George 10 days ago,following an independent report into the church's handling of theallegations.

The report found the church's priority was toprotect itself at the expense of victims and was more concerned withits legal and insurance standing than the healing of those abused.

Anapology to victims was read at all Anglican parishes in Adelaideyesterday after being ratified by 280 members of the Adelaide dioceseat a special synod on Saturday.



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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia