Guilty on 18 Charges

By Rebecca Woolley
The Manly Daily

26 July 2008

A FORMER Collaroy Plateau priest has been found guilty of molesting seven teenagers when he was a teacher at a Catholic-run school for troubled boys in the 70s and 80s.

Paul Raymond Evans was yesterday convicted of 18 serious child sex offences committed against seven boys as young as 13 who were pupils at Boys' Town, Engadine in Sydney's south.

The 57-year-old, a dorm master and teacher at the school, was in the Salesian of Don Bosco order before becoming a diocesan priest and worked at St Rose of Lima church at Collaroy Plateau in the 1990s.

A jury of five men and seven women delivered their verdict at the Sydney District Court yesterday after taking more than a week to reach a decision.

One victim, who was celebrating with his family yesterday, told The Manly Daily yesterday: "I am so happy, so relieved. I can get on with my life now, this can make up for 30 years of dealing with this.

"I want people to know it's never too late to come forward... people will still be believed after 30 years."

The man, who cannot be identified, was abused by Evans when he was 14-years-old and reported it to the school director at the time but his complaint was brushed off.

He was told "men get urges" and advised to forget about it.

"It absolutely rocked my world," the victim, who now lives in Tasmania, said. "I did not understand, I felt so alone."

Yesterday the jury found Evans guilty of nine counts of homosexual intercourse by a teacher, seven counts of indecent assault and two acts of indecency.

He maintained his innocence throughout the trial and said the allegations were based on "gossip and smear".

Evans admitted hugging the boys and rubbing their necks to help them sleep but denied ever touching them inappropriately.

Judge Robert Hulme remanded Evans in custody and will begin a sentencing hearing on September 19.


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