Forty Students Allege Sex Assault

By Alex Tibbitts
Sydney Morning Herald

August 26, 2008

ABOUT 40 students have alleged they were sexually abused by staff at the prestigious St Stanislaus Catholic College in Bathurst.

It is understood NSW Police are investigating the allegations but police media would not confirm the service's involvement last night or comment on Channel Seven's report.

A case involving the alleged abuse of five former students in 1986 is in the courts pending a full brief from the Department of Public Prosecution.

The headmaster of the school, John Edwards, said he had not been informed by authorities of any further investigation beyond the case.

He believed he would have been informed by authorities if there was any investigation involving current students.

"I have not been informed of any subsequent allegations by a proper authority," he told the Herald last night.

"We view allegations of any sexual misconduct towards children with grave concern. We are concerned for the wellbeing of any child - whether they now be adult or not - who may have been subject to abuse.

"We strongly support the process of thoroughly investigating allegations of sexual misconduct towards children."

A prestigious day and boarding school for boys, St Stanislaus was founded in 1867.

A priest who worked at the school in the 1970s was charged in 1994 over alleged sexual abuse of two students.

The priest was acquitted of all charges but the Vincentian order, which runs the school, made a cash payment of about $40,000 to one of the students.

Bishop Michael Malone, who later employed the priest in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, said: "I understand the reason for that was that the Vincentians could have fought the matter in civil court and it would have been very costly with regard to legal costs to them even if they had won, unless costs were awarded against the alleged victim."


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