Posts Tagged ‘Christian City Church Marion’,22606,26519138-5006301,00.html

Claims church failed to act on ‘pervert’

Article from: The Advertiser


December 23, 2009 12:01am

CHURCH elders allowed a paedophile pastor and youth leader to ply his evil trade by failing to act on repeated warnings over his “inappropriate behaviour” with young boys, court documents claim.

Trevor John Russell is serving a nine-year sentence for molesting boys while a pastor at Christian City Church Marion – which has denied that it owes the victims any compensation.

Three men, now in their early 40s, have launched a civil claim against the church over the abuse they suffered at the hands of Russell at church-run youth camps in the Flinders Ranges in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they were aged 12 and 13.

In their District Court statement of claim, the men say three female church members had complained to senior church staff that Russell was “a pervert” who had behaved inappropriately towards young boys.

The victims all claim to have suffered ongoing psychological and psychiatric problems because of their childhood abuse, including post traumatic stress disorder.

The church denies it was responsible or liable for the actions of Russell.

The civil case has been adjourned for a further hearing in March next year.,22606,21500921-2682,00.html

Immunity for sex offender crimes


April 04, 2007 02:15am

A PEDOPHILE jailed for nine years yesterday was effectively granted immunity from prosecution over crimes against five other victims when they were taken into account in his sentencing.

Supreme Court Justice Margaret Nyland jailed Trevor John Russell for nine years, with a four-year non-parole period.

The sentence accounted for not only the 18 offences with which he was charged, but also crimes against five other boys to which Russell had confessed.

Commissioner for Victims’ Rights Michael O’Connell said the sentence imposed on the former church worker – who abused 10 boys – highlighted the urgent need for legal change.

It effectively granted him immunity from further prosecution, even though only one of the five victims consented. The others were undecided or could not be contacted by prosecutors.

“I consider there must be a point at which some finality is reached,” Justice Nyland said. Mr O’Connell said the court had “pitted one victim’s rights against another”.

“Some victims want their day in court and others don’t, but all victims have a right to be heard on how they have been affected,” he said.

“(But those) victims who are angered by the court’s decision to ensure timely justice for Russell have no recourse.

“The current law is clear that the validity of the sentence is not affected by denying them their right to be heard in court.”

Russell, 57, pleaded guilty to abusing five boys – and confessed to offending against five more – between 1971 and 1982.

In sentencing, Justice Nyland detailed his history of childhood abuse, repressed homosexuality and guilt. Doctors felt he had “undergone a fundamental psychological transformation” since release from jail – for other sex crimes – 15 years ago, resulting in “complete rehabilitation”.

Mr O’Connell said there should have been time allowed to find the other victims and take statements from them.

“I am mindful that Russell’s other victims have had to wait for justice,” he said.

“Perhaps if they had been asked, they might have agreed to delay sentence so that others like them could tell the court how they have suffered at the hands of this sex offender.”


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