Posts Tagged ‘Priest’

Rapson – David Edwin - Photo5

Paedophile priest David Rapson jailed for sexual abuse of schoolboys at Catholic boarding school

Updated 25 minutes ago

Paedophile priest David Rapson has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for the rape and indecent assault of six boys in Victoria during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The Melbourne County Court heard the boys were as young as 11 or 12 when Rapson abused them at the Catholic boarding school he taught at.

The judge described Rapson as a “sexual predator seeking sexual fulfilment at the expense of young boys”.

He said Rapson displayed “cruelty and violence bordering on being sadistic”.

Rapson will be eligible for parole in 2023.

One of Rapson’s victims, who wanted to only be known as his first name Ben, said the verdict represented closure for him.

“I’m glad it’s finally over. It’s taken a big toll on us all and hopefully it’s the last of it and we can move on as best we can,” he said.

“It’s impacted my life in a big way – crime, drug abuse, things like that – and because he held the position he held in the church I couldn’t tell my parents or anyone like that what happened until probably four years ago.

“He’s just a sadist, a disgusting person and human being.”

Retrial follows miscarriage of justice

The former priest was jailed last year for 13 years for the abuse of eight boys, but the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed those convictions on the grounds that the charges should have been prosecuted separately.

There were eight complainants heard in a single trial, but the DPP acknowledged that significant parts of the evidence were not “cross-admissible”, or able to be heard by the same jury fairly.

The DPP said this prevented Rapson from receiving a fair trial.

Rapson faced fresh trials in the Victorian County Court, after prosecutor Peter Kidd SC told the appeal court he should face three separate trials on the charges.

But Rapson’s barrister Paul Holdenson QC argued there should be separate trials for each of the eight victims.

The retrial covered the abuse of six victims.


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Humphreys – Glenn Michael - Photo



Humphreys has been arrested in Western Australia after he finished serving his sentence there. He has been extradited to NSW to face further charges.



WA priest jailed for sex offences

  • October 15, 2014 2:17PM

A CATHOLIC priest will spend at least 11 months behind bars after being convicted of abusing a West Australian teenager more than 30 years ago.

GLENN Humphreys, 61, was found guilty of abusing a boy between 1983 and 1986 when the boy was aged 15 to 17.

A District Court jury found Humphreys guilty of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, but acquitted him of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

During sentencing submissions on Wednesday, defence lawyer Seamus Rafferty argued there was an “immature context” to the offending rather than any form of grooming.

Mr Rafferty said his client was struggling with his sexuality at the time and there was an “adolescent quality” to the hugging and touching that made the case “exceptional”.

“There clearly was a fondness between these two people,” he said.

Mr Rafferty said his client was “deeply remorseful” and had engaged in rehabilitation, which Judge Philip Eaton accepted.

Judge Eaton also accepted that Humphreys was a low-risk of re-offending but said the pair formed a “grossly inappropriate” relationship and general deterrence was important.

He sentenced Humphreys to 22 months in prison, with a minimum of 11 months before he will be eligible for parole.

Priest guilty of assault on teen

Elle Farcic The West Australian

August 22, 2014, 5:25 am

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy on church property in Perth 30 years ago.

Glenn Humphreys was accused of abusing the teenager between 1983 and 1986 while he was assistant priest at a church in Perth’s south.

After six hours of deliberation, a District Court jury last night convicted Humphreys of four counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

He was acquitted of carnal knowledge against the order of nature.

The court was told Humphreys had assaulted the boy in the church’s presbytery and in a bathroom at a nearby primary school.

He admitted having an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with the boy but argued their actions were consensual.

Giving evidence this week, Humphreys said he accepted he took advantage of a vulnerable young person.

He admitted he started to feel a sexual attraction to the boy in the second half of 1985, shortly before he took him to Quinns Rocks for a holiday.

“It didn’t dawn on me at the time that there was anything unusual with that,” he said.

“It was only a little break from the parish, that’s all.”

His victim, now aged 45, lives overseas but came to Perth to give evidence.

The man told the court one of the hardest things he had done was reporting the abuse to police in 2012.

He said the abuse left him confused and shocked, describing some of the incidents as “highly traumatising”.

Humphreys moved to Perth in January 1983 after a stint at an Eastern States school.

Two men who were allegedly abused by Humphreys at the school in the mid-70s and early 80s also gave evidence during the trial.

The men testified Humphreys would put on music, often by his favourite artist Barbra Streisand, before touching them inappropriately.

Two years ago, Humphreys sent his Perth victim a letter of apology and asked for his forgiveness.

Prosecutor James Mactaggart said Humphreys blatantly abused his position of trust.

Humphreys will be sentenced on October 15.


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16 Dec 2014 – 7:44pm

Vic pedophile priest to walk free in weeks

An 88-year-old Catholic priest who sexually abused an alter boy in Melbourne in the 1970s will walk free from jail within weeks, after successfully appealing the length of his sentence.

The now-retired priest, James Henry Scannell, had served 138 days of his two year sentence when the Victorian Court of Appeal reduced his jail time to 15 months, with 10 months of this suspended.

Scannell was found guilty of a single charge of buggery by a Victorian County Court jury in July, and he continues to deny committing the assault.

The joint ruling by Justices Mark Weinberg, Phillip Priest, Lex Lasry on Tuesday rejected Scannell’s bid to have his conviction overturned but did allow a reduction in his prison term.

Scannell’s was originally required him to serve at least 12 months before being eligible for parole.

Under the reduced sentence, he will be released within weeks.

Scannell committed the abuse during a sexual education lesson more than 40 years ago.

He was asked by a long-time friend and member of his East Kew parish to discuss puberty with the boy.

Instead, Scannell, wearing only a dressing gown, led the boy into his bedroom, stripped him naked and sexually abused him.

The victim came forward in 2010 when he learnt Scannell was to conduct his aunt’s funeral.

Victorian Catholic priest, 88, jailed for two years for raping boy

By court reporter Peta Carlyon

Thu 7 Aug 2014, 3:55pm

An 88-year-old Victorian Catholic priest has been sentenced to two years in jail for raping a boy more than 40 years ago.

James Scannell was convicted in the Victorian County Court of one charge of raping the 12-year-old while he was working in Kew in the early 1970s.

The court heard that Scannell had always denied the offence and had shown no remorse.

The priest suffered from a series of serious health problems, including a heart condition and cancer, the court heard.

Scannell joined the church as a Marist Brother in 1945 and served as a priest for almost 50 years, working in parishes around Melbourne, including Warburton, Brighton, Flemington and Geelong.

His lawyer told the court his client dedicated his life to serving the community and had set up an important education program for autistic children.

But Judge David Parsons said Scannell was guilty of a serious breach of trust and that he had no choice but to sentence the elderly priest to an immediate term of imprisonment.

Although Scannell was suspended last year, the church had yet to revoke his religious orders.

His credentials for working with children were only revoked last year.

Bernard Barrett, a representative from victims’ advocacy group Broken Rites, said Scannell’s victim had waited a long time for justice.

“The guilty parties covered this up all these years,” he said.

Dr Barrett said the conviction raised serious questions about whether the Melbourne Archdiocese knew about Scannell’s offending and what they would do in response to his jailing.

“[Scannell] has been a priest in the Melbourne Archdiocese for 50 years, including working with disabled children,” Dr Barrett said.

“Questions need to be asked of the Melbourne Archdiocese about how and why this sort of thing could have happened and how it’s taken all these years for it to come out.

“Why is it that victims always feel as though they must remain silent, when the offender is a priest or some sort of church person?

“He’s still listed in the current edition of the Annual Australian Catholic Directory, as Reverend Father Scannell, past or emeritus, a distinguished priest.”

Scannell will be eligible for parole in 12 months.


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Reis  - Michael Francis - Photo. Reis  - Michael Francis - Photo6


NOTE: Reis was also employed at a Catholic school in Victoria.

Priest jailed over child-sex offences

Posted Thu Nov 6, 2008 2:10pm AEDT

A District Court judge in Brisbane has jailed a Catholic priest for child sex offences.

The court heard 66-year-old Michael Francis Reis abused two young girls at Brisbane and Caboolture between 1983 and 1995.

Reis pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent treatment.

Judge Kerry O’Brien jailed Reis for 18 months but ordered the sentence be suspended after six months.


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Vince Ryan

Posted: June 4, 2014 by Serendipity in NSW, Photo
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ryan – Vince - Photo2



Ryan has been given a 15 month suspended sentence after pleaded guilty to acts of gross indecency & attempting sexual intercourse with a boy at a church in Gresford near Dungog when he was the parish priest. Another four charges were dropped. His victims were aged between 6 & 14.

Paedophile priest Vince Ryan faces fresh charges

NOTORIOUS paedophile priest Vincent Ryan will face court this month over fresh child sex charges relating to a boy in the mid-1980s.

Ryan, who spent 14 years in jail for preying on 35 boys aged six to 14 between 1972 and 1991, was visited by Strike Force Georgiana detectives at his Sydney home last month.

He was handed a court attendance notice on May 7 containing seven child sex charges relating to the boy.

He is due to face Maitland Local Court on June 30.

Ryan was released from Long Bay Jail in 2010 after serving more than 14 years.

Paedophile priest victims decry defrocking ‘tokenism’


26 Jul, 2011 04:00 AM

The Catholic Church has been accused of tokenism after defrocking notorious Hunter paedophile priest John Denham while failing to defrock other clergy child sex abusers.

“They get rid of the worst of the worst to make it look like they’re cleaning up their act, but they’re picking and choosing,” said a Newcastle victim of Vince Ryan, who was jailed after sexually abusing 35 boys between 1972 and 1991, and released last year.

“I asked [Bishop] Michael Malone to defrock Ryan back when he was jailed [in 1996] and Malone said they wouldn’t. So why did they do it with Denham?”

Maitland-Newcastle Bishop William Wright’s announcement on Sunday that Pope Benedict laicised (defrocked) Denham in May, after a recommendation from former Bishop Malone, met with a mixed response from victims of Hunter paedophile priests and their families.

Several people contacted by the Newcastle Herald agreed with Bishop Malone’s argument that the church was responsible for its paedophile priests, while defrocking made them the community’s responsibility.

In the case of Vince Ryan, the church and the priest signed a formal document in which he agreed not to return to the Hunter region. The condition was at the request of some Ryan victims. The church agreed to support the priest during his lengthy parole in Sydney.

His Newcastle victim said it was offensive that someone like Ryan could still call himself a priest, despite the church stripping him of his right to act as a priest.

Denis McAlinden, who the church tried to secretly defrock in 1995 over sexual abuse of young girls, continued to act as a priest despite being stripped of his right to do so in 1993.

Peter Gogarty, a victim of Jim Fletcher, called the defrocking of Denham “tokenism”, and his sexual abuser’s right to call himself “Father” until the day he died a repeat of the abuse.

“He’s buried as Father Jim Fletcher. That’s what’s wrong with the argument put forward in the Vince Ryan case. He can still call himself a priest,” he said.

It is extremely rare for the church in Australia to defrock clergy sex abusers.


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Location:  Ararat VIC – Penshurst / NSW – Was living in the Cairns / QLD area in 2006.

Offence:   Pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to five counts of indecent assault.

Another four charges were withdrawn.

Sentence:  Magistrate Michael Stone sentenced Ryan to serve 18 months in jail, with a non-parole period of 12 months.

Other:  See below

Ararat family seeks justice for son, brother sexually abused by priest

The actions of Father Paul David Ryan ripped the family of his victim Peter Watson apart. Now Peter’s brother, Mick, wants other victims of the former Ararat priest to come forward.

Mick and Peter Watson were raised as Catholics and attended a Catholic secondary school in Ararat, Marian College.

“It was just a normal childhood out on the farm. We played sport, did all the usual things,” says Mick.

That was until 1991, when a relatively young priest arrived at the school. He “wasn’t a stereotypical priest”, and a lot of the kids got on well with him. One of those who became friendly with Father Paul David Ryan was Peter.

Ryan invited Peter to spend the night at the parish house and it was there that he abused the 16-year-old. Almost overnight, Peter changed from a confident and popular student into “the complete opposite”.

“He had no pride in himself, he lacked self-esteem.”

Over the years, Peter turned to drugs and alcohol, and struggled to settle down.

“He’d get his life on track, he’d seem as though he was doing okay, then it would all fall in a heap and he’d be back to square one.

“It was a little bit of a mystery for a while, and then he confided in mum and dad. It answered a lot of questions about his behaviour.”

Peter’s parents were supportive and encouraged him to go to the police, but he said he couldn’t.

In March 1999, Peter drove to Ballarat and admitted himself to a psychiatric ward. After being assessed, he left and didn’t go back.

“And that was the last time he was seen.”

That was until October that year when his body was found in a bathing box in Melbourne. He had hanged himself.

But the torment for the Watson family didn’t end there. Peter’s body was buried in an unmarked grave and wasn’t formally identified and returned to Ararat until six years later.

Since his death, Peter’s parents have sought justice for their son. But the police said it would be difficult to prosecute the case since Peter was dead.

In 2006, Ryan was finally convicted of indecent assault for two other offences and spent a year behind bars. That same year, the Ballarat Bishop wrote Peter’s parents a letter, apologising on behalf of the church.

During the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into clergy sexual abuse, Peter’s mother, Helen, told her son’s story.

Now that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is underway, Mick wants other victims of Paul David Ryan to come forward. He wants justice for his brother and wants Ryan to admit to his brother’s abuse.

“I think it would be naive to think there aren’t more victims of this priest out there. It might really help some of these people get on with their lives.

“I know how hard it is, and I know what it does to a family and to an individual.”

The ABC’s Steve Martin spoke with Mick Watson.

You can contact the Royal Commission via its website or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if you have information.


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Sharwood – Robert Francis - Photo.

Anglican Church strips priest over sexual abuse

Posted Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:21pm AEST

The Brisbane Diocese of the Anglican Church has stripped Robert Francis Sharwood of his Holy Orders.

Sharwood was convicted in November 2006 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in the 1970s.

Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall removed Sharwood’s licence to operate as a priest in the diocese in 2002, but he remained an ordained Minister.

In March, the Church’s professional standards board recommended Sharwood’s Holy Orders be removed.

He appealed but an independent review dismissed it.

The victim’s wife – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says it is an emotional day for the family.

She says stripping the priest of his Holy Orders is long overdue.

“It’s something that has been needed for 32 years,” she said.

“It’s a very long time coming – 32 years is a very long wait.

“The journey for both of us has been very difficult. It’s taken us to the end of our emotional strength and stamina.”

Former priest jailed over 1970s sexual abuse

Posted Thu Nov 9, 2006 8:44pm AEDT

A former Anglican priest has been jailed by a Brisbane judge for sexually abusing a teenage boy more than 30 years ago.

Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, pleaded guilty in the District Court to seven charges of sexual assault and was found guilty of four more.

Judge Fleur Kingham jailed him for two years and nine months, to be suspended after one year.

The offences happened while Sharwood worked at an Anglican church in Brisbane’s west in the early 1970s.

Judge Kingham told Sharwood he had exploited his position for his own personal gratification and urged him to read the statements of his victim and his victim’s wife so that Sharwood would understand the consequences of his actions.

She also acknowledged his efforts to live a law abiding life since the offences took place, telling him he was now not the same person.


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