Judge acquitted Catholic brother despite being ‘satisfied’ he had sexually abused schoolboy

Herald Sun

Janet Fife Yeomans, The Daily Telegraph
November 27, 2016

A judge said he was “well satisfied” that a Catholic brother had sexually abused a boy at school – but then acquitted him of the abuse.

The extraordinary case in the NSW District Court is being examined by the royal commission into child sex abuse but while the victim and the crown prosecutor Lou Lungo will be giving evidence, Judge David Frearson is not being called as a witness.

No judges have been called to the long-running commission to explain their decisions while solicitors have been criticised for the way they have handled cases.

The decision not to call Judge Frearson was made despite the commission being told today that the case “raises a number of issues of importance to the royal commission’s work on criminal justice”.

“This prosecution raises the issue of whether a criminal justice response can be said to be reasonably available to condemn and punish child sexual abuse if an accused is acquitted in circumstances where the judge was ‘well satisfied’ that the accused sexually abused the complainant,” counsel assisting the commission Jeremy Kirk SC said today.

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