Boy-Sex Ring in Tassie, Claims Priest
By Colin James and Ellen Whinnett
The Mercury [Australia]
May 22, 2003
AN Anglican Church priest will today reveal details of an alleged pedophile ring operating in South Australia and Tasmania which could have involved sexual abuse of up to 200 children.
The Reverend Don Owers, a priest in Adelaide, will issue a statement today calling for the Anglican Church to reveal what it knew about abuse of boys within the Church of England Boys Society.
A number of pedophile priests and church officials have been linked to CEBS with claims this week that up to 200 children may have been sexually abused since the 1960s.
Victims claim boys were flown between Tasmania and South Australia to be routinely abused by priests and youth workers.
Rev Owers, an abuse victims advocate, has been campaigning for the church to come clean about the activities of a number of CEBS leaders, who have connections to South Australia and Tasmania.
He will today speak out about former priest Robert Brandenburg and three senior Anglican colleagues who have been implicated in SA and Tasmania with sexual abuse claims dating back to the 1960s.
Brandenburg, who was involved in CEBS camps and activities in Tasmania, committed suicide in June 1999 by drowning himself in South Australia soon after he was charged by police with child-sex offences.
Many of his victims came from a CEBS youth group at St George's Church, Magill, in Adelaide, which he led for more than 20 years and was within walking distance of his home in Magill Rd.
Brandenburg took young boys to his home, gave them marijuana and alcohol, and showed them pornographic videos before sexually assaulting them over two decades.
He is one of four former Anglican Church figures with links to Tasmania who is accused of taking boys on camps and interstate trips for the purpose of sexually abusing them.
The other three men have since been convicted of child-sex offences, two by the criminal courts and one by a church tribunal.
No formal complaint against Brandenburg has been lodged with police in Tasmania.
Tasmania's Anglican Church will hold its annual Synod in Launceston over the next four days, and the issue of sex abuse by clergy is expected to be addressed.
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