Former Jesuit brother charged with four counts of indecent assault

The Australian

February 1, 2017
Crime reporterSydney

A former Catholic brother who worked at Sydney’s St Ignatius College, Riverview, which counts former prime minister Tony Abbott among its alumni, has been charged with indecently assaulting children during his time at the prestigious private school.

Victor Higgs did not enter a plea during a brief court mention yesterday after being extradited from South Australia. The 79-year-old former Jesuit brother has been charged with four counts of indecent assault, allegedly involving three victims, between 1978 and 1980.

Mr Higgs worked at the exclusive school, which also counts Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher and several Olympians among its alumni, for a decade from 1971, after transferring from St Ignatius College, Adelaide.

Riverview principal Paul Hine contacted about 6500 former pupils in 2015 asking them to come forward if they knew of any child sex abuse allegations at the school. The Jesuits referred a similar allegation, an incident said to have taken place at Riverview, to police a year before. Mr Higgs left the order in 2001.

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