Prosecutor drops rape charges against defrocked Catholic priest

The Age

December 13, 2020

By Richard Baker

Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions has abandoned the prosecution of a former senior Catholic priest charged with raping a disabled female parishioner, bringing to an end a nine-year effort by the woman to seek justice through the courts.

DPP Kerri Judd, QC, made the decision in July to discontinue the prosecution against Thomas Knowles, a former Australian provincial leader of the Order of the Blessed Sacrament, who had a long-running interaction with the woman that was later deemed inappropriate by a church inquiry.

Mr Knowles was charged with two counts of rape in May, a year after the woman contacted Victoria Police about the events of the 1980s.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.