Silence condemned Qld girls to abuse

Daily Mail (UK)


Thirteen young Catholic girls were raped and molested by their teacher in Queensland because five adults stayed silent to protect the church.

That was the damning case presented to the royal commission into child sex abuse when it came to Brisbane to look at how a teacher was allowed to keep working at a Toowoomba school for more than a year after abuse claims surfaced against him.

The commission was told the school’s principal, assistant principal, a student protection officer, and two Catholic education officers first learned of the abuse claims against Gerry Byrnes in September 2007.
But not one of them ever told police or parents.

It wasn’t until Byrnes was arrested in November 2008 that the church began investigating his 37-year teaching career at seven schools.

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