Adrian Cornelius Floris

Posted: October 31, 2012 by Serendipity in Victoria
Tags: , , , , , , , ,,21985,22174447-2862,00.html

Chaplain under fire over pedophile

Jill Singer and Keith Moor

August 02, 2007 12:00am

VICTORIAN school children have been counselled for years by a chaplain who admits a confessed pedophile is one of his friends.

The convicted pedophile’s wife is also involved in school chaplain Mark Taranto’s Hope4Kids organisation.

Mr Taranto founded Hope4Kids and is chaplain at the Eastbourne and Mornington Park primary schools on the Mornington Peninsula.

He yesterday met the principals after the Herald Sun alerted them about Mr Taranto’s association with pedophile Adrian Cornelius Floris and Mr Floris’s wife, Lynn.

The principals said Mr Taranto volunteered not to work at the schools until the issue of his lapsed registration to work as a chaplain had been sorted out.

Chaplaincy Australia’s Mark Batemen said Mr Taranto’s registration had not been renewed as a result of having Mrs Floris as his referee. He said her husband’s pedophile convictions made her an unsuitable referee.

Mr Taranto has maintained his friendship with Adrian Floris despite Mr Floris pleading guilty in 2002 to eight charges of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and performing indecent acts with a child.

Mr Floris was sentenced to two years and 11 months in jail after the County Court was told he tried to persuade the male victim the sex should be “our little secret”.

He was last year ordered by County Court judge Michael McInerney to pay $145,000 compensation to the teenage boy he sexually abused from 1998 to 2000. Mr Floris, 61, was also fined $2000 in 1994 for indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

Lynn Floris was Mr Taranto’s referee when he applied to register as a chaplain.

Mr Taranto defended his continuing friendship with Adrian Floris.

“Part of the Christian faith is that we forgive people,” he said.

“I don’t condone what he’s done. I have made that very clear to him, but I will continue to be a friend.”

Mr Taranto said he could see no conflict of interest in him being friendly with a pedophile while running Hope4Kids and being a primary school chaplain.

He said Mr Floris played no role in Hope4Kids, and said Mrs Floris’s role was restricted to bookkeeping.

Mr Taranto said he had changed churches, that Mrs Floris was no longer his referee and that he was just waiting for the minister at his new church to agree to be his referee.

Mornington Park primary school principal Geoff Seeckts and Eastbourne primary school principal Stephen Wilkinson issued a joint statement to the Herald Sun yesterday.

“We want to emphasise that we conducted all the right checks before we accepted Mr Taranto to work in our school, including police checks and obtaining his Chaplaincy Australia registration.

“At no time did Mr Taranto ever work in our schools unless he was supervised by a teacher.

“The issue for us is that there may be inconsistencies about his Chaplaincy Australia registration.”

$145,000 payout for boy abused by church official

Fergus Shiel
July 13, 2006

A CHURCH official who sexually abused a boy during religious services 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 he first started molesting him on Christmas Day in 1998, hounded him for sex.

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’t have any remorse at all and he twisted it around so I thought it was my fault.

“My way of dealing with the trauma has been to keep myself very busy. In years 11 and 12, I worked three jobs and went from an A student to a poor one. I also put on a lot of weight.

“I lost many of my friendships and my relationship with my parents suffered greatly. I didn’t trust anyone and I became a very hard person.

“Every time I entered a church I felt dirty. Leaving Melbourne has helped but I miss it terribly. I’m starting to put the pieces back again very slowly and I’m very, very pleased that the court case is finally over.”

The victim’s lawyer, Dr Vivian Waller, said no amount of money could bring the boy’s adolescence back but her client hoped the compensation would help him to move on.

When the assaults occurred, Floris was a travel agent and a property manager at the Harvest Christian Church in Dingley, where his wife was an ordained Assembly of God pastor.

Floris was also the head of stewards and property manager of the Bays Christian Church in Mornington, where some of the abuse occurred in the toilets during church services.

In 2002, he pleaded guilty in the County Court to four charges of indecent acts with a child under 16, and four counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and spent 18 months in prison.

‘Hounded for sex’ court claim

By Jamie Berry
June 28 2002

It was “simply improbable” that a boy, 13, hounded a pastor’s husband, 52, for sex, a court has heard.

Adrian Cornelius Floris yesterday pleaded guilty in the County Court to four counts of indecent acts with a child under 16, and four counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16.

The court heard that Floris was involved with the Harvest Christian Church in Dingley – where his wife was an ordained Assembly of God pastor – when he began sexually assaulting the boy on Christmas Day, 1998. The abuse lasted until January, 2000.

At a police interview, Floris, a self-employed travel agent, had admitted the acts, but claimed they were initiated by the boy who touched him “whenever he could and wherever he could”.

Prosecutor Rosemary Carlin said this was “simply improbable”. Floris, now 55, of Mornington, was granted bail. Judge John Hassett is expected to sentence him today. Floris faces a maximum 10 years’ jail on each charge.


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