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.
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