Child Abuse Penalty Appeal Lodged

By Geoff Wilkinson
Herald Sun [Australia]
February 8, 2006,5478,18072987%5E2862,00.html

AN appeal has been lodged against the prison sentence given to a pedophile Catholic priest.

Director of Public Prosecutions Paul Coghlan, QC, has appealed on the ground Father Frank Klep's sentence was manifestly inadequate.

Klep, 62, was sentenced to a one-year minimum jail term last December for molesting 11 schoolboys in the 1970s.

The former Salesian College principal pleaded guilty to 14 charges of indecent assault on boys aged 12 to 17.

County Court judge Frances Hogan sentenced him to three years' jail, with two years of the term suspended.

Crime Victims Support Association president Noel McNamara yesterday welcomed an appeal.

"We're very happy, and hope justice will be done in the Court of Appeal," Mr McNamara said.

"The original sentence amounted to about a month for each victim, and we wrote to the DPP to complain it was manifestly inadequate.

"I'm sure there are quite a lot more of his victims out there, and hopefully this will encourage them to come out," he said.

Police are believed to be looking into further allegations against Klep.

Judge Hogan said when sentencing Klep he had betrayed the trust of students in his care "in a most appalling way".

The court heard Klep sexually abused most of the boys while they recovered from illness in the infirmary at Rupertswood College in Sunbury.

His victims told the court Klep had destroyed their faith in religion.

Klep had previously been convicted and sentenced to a nine-month intensive corrections order in 1994. More complaints were made after media coverage of that case.


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