The operator of this website is the highly motivated community-minded Martin Mitchell from Australia (himself an instititionalised and abused minor in church institutions in the former West Germany)

( 21.06.2004 )

Child abuse offenders of yesteryear relentlessly pursued by Australian law enforcement today. Church officials and carers of children alleged to be involved in paedophilia.

[Adelaide] ADVERTISER, 21 June 2004 @



NINE men – including two former Anglican ministers and two former leaders of the Church of England Boys Society – have been charged after a series of raids across two states by a South Australian paedophile taskforce.

Those facing child sex abuse charges – dating back to 1952 and involving victims as young as six – also include a former Salvation Army officer and a junior surf lifesaving coach. The raids were conducted by the SA Police Paedophile Taskforce as part of investigations into child sex abuse claims within the Anglican Church in Adelaide. Paedophile Taskforce Superintendent Grant Stevens said last night more charges were likely as inquiries continue.

"There are other people who are the subject of further investigations and further information will be released as appropriate," he said. "There's still quite a long way to go. "While we've done a significant amount of work there's still a lot more to be done." A covert four-day operation ended yesterday with two men arrested in Adelaide and a third extradited from Queensland last night.

It began on Thursday when police charged a 58-year-old former Anglican minister who allegedly indecently assaulted four teenagers between 1973 and 2000.

Another former minister, aged 59 and now living in Queensland, arrived in Adelaide late last night to face four indecent assault charges and one count of buggery. He will appear in court this morning.

A former Anglican Church foster carer, aged 54, was charged with indecently assaulting an 11-year-old in 1980-81 when the child was a ward of the state.

The former Salvation Army officer was charged with indecently assaulting a 12-year-old in 1966-67.

Another man, aged 71 and a former Salvation Army carer, was arrested on two counts of indecent assault and eight counts of buggery. His alleged victims, aged six and nine, were in the care of the Salvation Army Boys Home at the time.

One of the former Church of England Boys Society leaders, aged 45, will face five charges of gross indecency which were allegedly committed between 1986-88 on a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old.

The other former Church of England Boys Society leader, aged 69, was arrested for 14 indecent assaults allegedly committed on six victims aged between 12 and 16, between 1970 and 1982.

A former junior coach with the Surf Lifesaving Association of SA was charged with eight counts of rape and seven counts of indecent assault, relating to incidents allegedly involving an eight-year-old and a nine-year-old.

Another man, aged 67, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault which allegedly occurred between 1964 and 1970.

It is understood one of the men is the subject of separate investigations in two other states.

The police paedophile taskforce was established last year after two Anglican clergymen made public allegations of up to 200 child sex abuse cases within the Adelaide diocese – and the removal of the pre-1982 statute of limitations on charging offenders.

Subsequent investigations led to other organisations being identified including the Surf Lifesaving Association of SA and the Salvation Army.

Ten files were presented to the Department of Public Prosecutions to review and determine the feasibility of proceeding with evidence dating back decades.

"The passage of time does not necessarily mean they won't be caught up with," Supt. Stevens said. Eight files were acted on resulting in this weekend's initial wave of charges and arrests. Another two files remain with the DPP. "It is extremely satisfying that we can produce a resolution for victims," Supt Stevens said.

"Investigators feel very rewarded that they're able to take some positive steps these past few days."

In a statement from the Anglican Church office in response to yesterday's arrests, Archdeacon John Collas said he "had been expecting" the arrest announcement and that those who had committed crimes against children "must be brought to justice".

The statement said the arrests "will bring back hurtful memories to those who have been abused and their families".

"We hope that the arrests will be an important step in the beginning of the healing process," he said.

"Our hearts go out to any person who has suffered as a result of these events."

The charges against the men are the latest controversy for the Anglican Church, following the resignation of Archbishop Ian George 11 days ago in the wake of an independent report into the church's handling of child sex abuse allegations.

The report found the church's priority was to protect itself at the expense of victims and was more concerned with its legal and insurance standing than the healing of those abused.

© Advertiser Newspaper Pty Limited

[ Date of first publication on this Website: 21 June 2004 ]


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