Roger Michael Bellemore

Posted: October 17, 2012 by Serendipity in Location, Tasmania
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http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,23206218-5007221,00.html

Former priest’s sex shame

NICK CLARK

February 13, 2008 12:00am

A FORMER Marist College priest was found guilty in the Supreme Court in Launceston yesterday of sex offences — two years after first being convicted.

Roger Michael Bellemore, 72, of Lane Cove in Sydney, was found guilty of three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with young boys in the early 1970s.

He was a priest at Marist College in Burnie and committed a series of sexual assaults against boys aged between 11 and 13 years.

Bellemore was the second Marist priest to be convicted after Gregory Laurence Ferguson had a further three years’ jail added to an existing two-year sentence in December last year.

The court heard yesterday that some of Bellemore’s victims had given evidence 10 times on various charges.

Bellemore was first convicted in 2006 and was jailed from February to December 2006.

However, an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal was upheld and Bellemore was released.

In August last year, Justice Alan Blow dismissed a jury four days into the retrial when inadmissible evidence was given.

Three victims made statements to the Supreme Court about their abuse at the hands of Bellemore.

“No sooner had I started (at Marist College), so did the sexual abuse by priests,” a victim said.

“I was horrified and scared and I had no one to turn to.

“I was easy prey for the priests. They knew what was going on in my background life — a broken family and no home life to speak of.

“I was taken advantage of, I was used by them. I was passed from one priest to the other.”

The man said he had suffered alcohol and drug problems for many years.

“I was a wreck suffering from depression and anxiety — I was wild, sad and very angry,” he said.

He first went to police in 2002.

A second victim said he had been a scared and lonely boy when he went to Marist.

“Bellemore seized on that and used me for his own sexual gratification,” he said.

The man said his mother had refused to believe him when he complained about Bellemore.

He said he had questioned his manhood and sexuality as a result of the abuse.

He had been afflicted with anger management problems throughout his life and had been married several times.

“I get comfort from the fact that you will have to face God when your time comes,” he said.

“Will you be accepted into the Lord’s arms? I think not.”

A third victim said that during a life as an elite athlete he had required frequent massage.

“But I cannot stand to have a man touch me,” the statement read by prosecutor Michael Stoddart said.

He said he had a deep and abiding hatred of homosexuality and had almost committed suicide three times.

Mr Stoddart said the crimes had been a severe breach of trust.

Bellemore was remanded in custody for sentence tomorrow at 4pm.

 

http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,18211416%255E1702,00.html

Priest ‘used boys for sex’

By Gavin Lower
21feb06

A PRIEST used boys under his care for his own comfort and sexual gratification, a Hobart court was told yesterday.

Roger Michael Bellemore, 69, was a priest and teacher at Marist College in Burnie when he is alleged to have sexually assaulted four boys more than 30 years ago.

He has pleaded not guilty to four charges of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

Crown prosecutor Michael Stoddart told a jury of eight women and four men in the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday that Mr Bellemore was a popular figure at Marist College.

He said Mr Bellemore had taught Latin, coached sport and worked in the school’s infirmary.

“Rather than nurture, Mr Bellemore used the boys, under the guise of caring, for his own comfort and sexual gratification,” Mr Stoddart said.

He said the alleged abuse occurred at a time when sexual abuse was a “taboo” subject in society.

Mr Bellemore is alleged to have sexually assaulted boys aged between nine and 15 in the years from 1967 to 1971.

Mr Stoddart said Mr Bellemore would tell the boys not to tell anyone what had happened.

A 48-year-old man, who cannot be identified, told the court he was a boarder at Marist College when Mr Bellemore sexually assaulted him.

He said he went to Mr Bellemore’s room one night to get help with his Latin.

The man said Mr Bellemore told him to sit on his bed.

Mr Bellemore then put his arm around him and “started playing with me”, the man said.

He said he also touched Mr Bellemore after the priest told him to.

The man said he was too scared to resist Mr Bellemore and felt “confused, embarrassed”.

He said he was sexually assaulted three or four times by Mr Bellemore.

Mr Bellemore’s lawyer, Paul Byrne, SC, told the jury his client denied the allegations of sexual abuse.

Mr Byrne told the jury it would hear evidence that called into question the reliability of the alleged victims’ evidence.

The trial is continuing.

 

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Comments
  1. L. Murray says:

    He was the chaplain at St Pius X College in 2003 when I was in year 7. We had the “opportunity” to miss a period, bring a mate and have a chat with him in his office. He made mention of the fact that the window in the door was a legal requirement because of sex abuse cases in the past and had a plush cartoony devil that when banged against the table said “I’m a horny little devil”. Brother Christopher Rafferty was also a teacher and resident at SPX while I was there and has since been charged.

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