A retired priest is charged on NSW mid-north coast

  • Posted by a Broken Rites researcher, 1 October 2016

In late September 2016, New South Wales police (from the state's mid-north coast) charged a retired Catholic priest with child-sexual assaults, allegedly committed against a boy between 1999 and 2006. Following investigations, the 69-year-old retired priest was arrested in Port Macquarie.

The retired priest was charged with:

  • sexual intercourse without consent (x2 counts);
  • attempt sexual intercourse without consent (x2);
  • aggravated indecent assault (x2);
  • incite act of indecency with victim under 16;
  • commit act of indecency; and
  • indecent assault (x2).

He was later granted conditional bail and was scheduled to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on 6 October 2016 — case number 2016/00286056. For legal reasons, the priest was listed (on the court schedule) only by his initials. (The first court date for such a case is usually a brief mention while the case is being officially filed in court, and the court might then schedule a date for a second mention.)

Police will allege that the charges relate to the sexual and indecent assault of a boy in Leichhardt (a Sydney suburb) and Kempsey (on the NSW north coast) between 1999 and 2006, when the boy was aged between 12 and 17.

Police (from Mid North Coast Local Area Command) are continuing their investigations.

Port Macquarie is within the Lismore Catholic diocese, which extends from Port Macquarie to the Queensland border (including towns such as Kempsey, Grafton, Casino and Murwillumbah).

A NSW Police media news item described the charged man as a "former" priest but, in fact, he is STILL a priest (and still has the title of "Reverend"). He is merely retired from parish work.