$145,000 payout for boy abused by church official
July 13, 2006
A CHURCH official who sexually abused a boy during religiousservices and in a spa at his home has been ordered to pay his victim$145,000.
Adrian Cornelius Floris claimed that the boy, who was 13 when hefirst started molesting him on Christmas Day in 1998, hounded him forsex.
The abuse lasted until January 2000. Floris told the boy it would be "our little secret".
County Court judge Michael McInerney yesterday awarded the victim,who cannot be named, $145,000 compensation for pain and suffering,medical costs, future economic loss and in aggravated damages.
Now rebuilding his life interstate, the young man told The Age that the abuse, Floris' total lack of remorse and his long fight for justice had taken a heavy toll.
"I was shattered," he said. "It felt like it was my fault. He didn'thave any remorse at all and he twisted it around so I thought it was myfault.
"My way of dealing with the trauma has been to keep myself verybusy. In years 11 and 12, I worked three jobs and went from an Astudent to a poor one. I also put on a lot of weight.
"I lost many of my friendships and my relationship with my parentssuffered greatly. I didn't trust anyone and I became a very hard person.
"Every time I entered a church I felt dirty. Leaving Melbourne hashelped but I miss it terribly. I'm starting to put the pieces backagain very slowly and I'm very, very pleased that the court case isfinally over."
The victim's lawyer, Dr Vivian Waller, said no amount of money couldbring the boy's adolescence back but her client hoped the compensationwould help him to move on.
When the assaults occurred, Floris was a travel agent and a propertymanager at the Harvest Christian Church in Dingley, where his wife wasan ordained Assembly of God pastor.
Floris was also the head of stewards and property manager of theBays Christian Church in Mornington, where some of the abuse occurredin the toilets during church services.
In 2002, he pleaded guilty in the County Court to four charges ofindecent acts with a child under 16, and four counts of sexualpenetration of a child under 16 and spent 18 months in prison.