A Catholic Priest Has Been Charged with Perverting the Course of Justice As Part of an Investigation into Sexual Abuse in the New South Wales Hunter Region.

ABC Newcastle
August 15, 2008

Police are revealing few details but say the offence relates to a statement provided to a police investigation in 1998.

The 70-year-old man has been bailed to face Newcastle Local Court on September 9.

The charge comes a day after a 65-year-old priest faced court accused of sexually abusing 18 boys in the region in the 1970s and early 1980s.

John Sidney Denham was charged with 30 child sex offences relating to boys aged 11 to 17 at the time.

Sixteen of Denham's alleged victims attended St Pius X High School at Adamstown. Another boy was from a parish near Newcastle, while the 18th was from Taree.

He also worked at Sydney's Waverly College during the 1980s and 1990s. None of the charges relate to his time there.

Denham was on restricted duties, working as a librarian at a theological college next to a Sydney school before he was arrested yesterday.

He was remanded in custody and will face Newcastle Local Court on October 2.

The Catholic Church's child protection unit tipped police off about an initial allegation about Denham in April.

Acting Police Commander Gary O'Dell this morning hinted there would be further arrests.

"We're certainly looking at a number of further allegations and making inquires in relation to that," he said.

"The police have been working with a number of victims and if there are any others out there, we would certainly encourage them to come forward."

The Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese says it will continue to cooperate with the police investigation.

Anyone with information that could aid the probe is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Strike Force Georgiana on (02) 4942 9999.


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