Cleric Takes Holiday from Abuse Case
November 28, 2013
An American Catholic Brother charged with child sex abuse has had some of his bail conditions suspended over Christmas so he can take a beach holiday.
Bernard Joseph Hartman is facing 14 charges of indecently assaulting two boys and two girls aged between six and 16 at St Paul’s College in Altona between 1976 and 1982.
The 73-year-old appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday where his lawyer requested a change to bail terms requiring he report to a police station every three days so Hartman could go to Apollo Bay with his colleagues.
Hartman is in Australia on a criminal justice visa after he returned from the US to face the abuse accusations.
He had been working in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in Ohio on clerical duties so he wouldn’t have direct contact with children or teens. Last year a woman made accusations against Hartman during the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.
He allegedly assaulted victims both at the school in Melbourne’s west and their homes.
A Victorian court has heard victims in Melbourne first came forward in 2003.
Magistrate Duncan Reynolds granted the bail variation, allowing Hartman to spend 10 days on the Victorian coast over Christmas.