‘I exploited them’: Ex-priest and ALP official ‘ashamed’ of child sexual abuse

Sydney Morning Herald

February 23, 2021

By Jenny Noyes

A former Labor party official and Catholic priest told a Sydney court he feels guilty and ashamed for exploiting vulnerable boys in Vietnam and the Philippines for his own sexual gratification and said he never doubted that what he was doing was criminal.

Peter Andrew Hansen, who has also practised as a lawyer, gave evidence during a sentence hearing in the NSW District Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to 31 charges, including one of engaging in sexual intercourse with a child under 18 in the Philippines and 15 counts of producing child abuse material.

He said he feels guilt and shame not only for breaking the law but for “contravening my own standards of morality” in his exploitation of the boys he abused.

“The record of my life says I did work for people who were in difficult circumstances and yet here with these victims, these boys, I exploited them.

“I didn’t only exploit their age, I exploited the fact they came from a poor Asian country,” he told the court. “I not only contravened society’s standards… I also used and manipulated to my own advantage, a power imbalance between me and them.”

“I never doubted the criminality of my action and I understand that exacerbates my culpability,” he said.

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