The Examiner [Launceston, Tasmania, Australia]
September 27, 2021
By Matt Maloney
[Photo above: Victim: Jarrod Luscombe was 16 when he was sexually abused by a Christian Brother.]
As a young teenager, Jarrod Luscombe saw the man who would eventually sexually abuse him as his mentor – almost a father figure.
Even in the years after the abuse, he still hoped his perpetrator would be proud of him and his achievements.
The man who abused Mr Luscombe at age 16 in Perth, Western Australia, was Daniel McMahon – a Christian Brother who was later accepted into the priesthood in Tasmania and lived at Turner’s Beach from 1990 until his death in 2013.
Mr Luscombe has decided to speak out and share his story in the hope that he can connect with other victims of Brother McMahon’s in the hope they can heal together.
As a young man, Mr Luscombe had a keen interest in the Christian faith and would attend a number of religious youth events where he eventually met his abuser.
He said back then, he had fleeting thoughts of joining the priesthood which was encouraged by Brother McMahon.
“He was reasonably charismatic and as a young man I would seek out his approval,” Mr Luscombe said.
“He took a real interest in me and shined the praises on me which led me to think that he thought I was special.”
He was invited by Brother McMahon to participate in vocational weekends with other young people and was once invited to his home.
This was the first and last time he attended the residence where he says he was sexually abused.
Shortly after that night, Brother McMahon returned to Tasmania, but kept in touch with letters to his victim over a number of years.
The abuse was never acknowledged.
In 2004, Mr Luscombe was talking to a friend about sexual abuse inflicted upon her which triggered his own trauma.
“The memories came back and I saw it for what it was,” he said.
“I remember tears just started to come out of my eyes and I had no control from then on.
“Things went downhill very quickly as I tried to grasp what had occurred.”
Mr Luscombe went to WA police who referred the matter to Tasmania Police.
Brother McMahon denied the allegations and the case went no further.
Confronting him when I was older and wiser, I could see his arrogance, his narcissism, and the sociopathic person that he was – Child sex abuse survivor Jarrod Luscombe
Mr Luscombe then decided to travel to Tasmania in 2008 to confront Brother McMahon on the doorstep of his home, 20 years after the abuse occurred.
“It was good to see him in a different light,” he said.
“For many years, even after the abuse, I still wanted him to be proud of me.
“He had been my mentor so I always had this view of him being a wonderful man and I had continued to hold that vision in my mind.
“But confronting him when I was older and wiser, I could see his arrogance, his narcissism, and the sociopathic person that he was.
“I could see that he was quite a vile creature.”
Mr Luscombe taped the conversation, where he and Brother McMahon talked about the abuse for more than an hour.
He then took the tape to police.
The transcript showed Brother McMahon had apologised for the sexual abuse and evaded questions about whether there were other victims of abuse caused by him.
He said he had been careful about his contact with young people so that he was not in a position where he might be compromised.
Mr Luscombe said the Director of Public Prosecutions in Western Australia agreed to use the tape as evidence in court so long as other victims identified themselves and provided statements to police
“By the time I had found some, Dan McMahon had died so he never got his day in court,” Mr Luscombe said.
Mr Luscombe said since he had shared his story publicly, 15 victims of the former priest had contacted him, including one from Tasmania.
“After talking to other survivors, his level of physical abuse was also horrendous,” he said.
“For some, it was physical and sexual.
“A couple of people have said that the physical abuse was almost sexual for him.”
Beyond Abuse founder and abuse survivor Steve Fisher has encouraged any victim of Brother McMahon to contact him.
“We’d like anyone to come forward to either us or the Commission of Inquiry if they are not happy with any response to their claim, either to police or the government,” he said.
“I know how I was treated when I first made my complaint.
“I was told it was my word against his and it was going to go nowhere.
“Back in the 90s, police had no idea how to treat survivors.”
Beyond Abuse can be contacted on 0483129328 or 0459442303 for peer-to-peer and other support services