Catholic priest in court in Melbourne on charges regarding schoolboys

  • By a Broken Rites researcher, article updated 23 March 2017.

A Catholic priest, Frank De Dood (a member of the Salesian religious order), has indicated in court that he intends to plead guilty to six child-sex offences which he allegedly committed against young boys in Melbourne between 1978 and 1983. Police allege that the offences were committed against specific students at Salesian College Chadstone (in Melbourne's south-east) and at Salesian College "Rupertswoood" in Sunbury (in Melbourne's north-west).

The defendant's full name is listed in court as Frank Peter De Dood. (The surname, De Dood, is of Dutch origin.)

After a preliminary hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in 2016, the De Dood case was listed for a plea hearing with a judge in a higher court, the Victoria County Court, on 23 March 2017, but after a brief mention in the County Court on that date, the plea hearing was adjourned to later in 2017.

The court's case number for De Dood is CR-16-02039.

De Dood was charged by the Sano Taskforce (in the Victoria Police sex-crime squad), Melbourne. During the adjournment period, these detectives are able to continue their investigations.

Frank De Dood was originally a schoolboy at Salesian College "Rupertswood". After finishing his schooling, he became a member of the Salesian religious order. First, he became a Brother and then, in 1979, he was ordained as a priest, working in Salesian schools.

The Salesian priests and brothers have also run schools in other states, including the "Boys Town" school at Engadine, New South Wales.