Nsw Ex-principal Admits Indecent Assaults

By Miranda Forster
7 News
March 2, 2016

A Christian Brother used his position to routinely sexually abuse boys in his care under the guise of tuition or discipline, court documents show.

William Peter Standen, also known as David Standen - the former principal of Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral College - pleaded guilty on Wednesday to indecent assaults on seven boys during his time at St Patrick's College in Goulburn.

The 66-year-old has previously pleaded guilty to indecent assaults or acts on 11 other boys at the school.

They occurred when he was a teacher and dormitory master at St Patrick's in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to agreed statements of facts tendered in Sydney's District Court.

The statements detail a pattern of abuse in which Standen's victims - mostly boys aged 12 - recalled being summoned to his quarters after "lights out" under the guise of discipline or tuition.

Directed to bend over, or to lay face-down on Standen's bed or across his knee, the victims described how he would smack or rub their often bare bottoms.

During the abuse the boys were sometimes asked to answer maths questions and smacked for giving wrong answers.

Other victims recalled being admonished for so-called bad behaviour.

Some detailed how "Brother David" - as Standen was known - watched them shower, punished them with a leather strap, and fondled their genitals.

"Do not tell anyone about this," one victim recalled being told after Standen assaulted him.

Another victim, who was targeted on a school camp, said he was woken up in his tent by Standen's hand pressing on his crotch area.

Some of the boys were routinely targeted, with one recalling being called to Standen's room up to 20 times.

Standen was arrested at Sydney Airport in 2014.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Christian Brothers reiterated an apology to all who have suffered past abuse.

"It is a matter of deep sorrow and regret that children were abused in our care," a spokesman said.

The organisation intends to comment further once Standen's case is finalised.

He is due to face a sentence hearing on April 15.








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