Four Face 128 Child Sex Charges

By Katelyn John and Eoin Blackwell
The Australian

September 3, 2008,25197,24288067-12377,00.html

A CATHOLIC brother, a priest, a former priest and a lay teacher face a total of 128 child sex charges dating back to the 1970s at two schools.

The brother, priest and teacher were arrested and charged today, and police warn more arrests could follow.

Former students of St Stanislaus' College at Bathurst in central west New South Wales have alleged that boys were sexually abused during hypnotic late-night prayer and chanting sessions.

Brian Spillane, 65, from Narwee in Sydney's southwest, was charged in May with 33 offences and yesterday had a further 60 charges laid against him after eight more alleged victims came forward.Today, a 66-year-old Catholic brother, arrested this morning at Marsfield in Sydney's northwest, was charged with 28 child sexual offences relating to his time at the same school.

He was bailed to appear at Bathurst Local Court on September 15.

Mr Spillane is due in court on the same day to answer the new charges against him.

Also appearing on that day will be a 65-year-old priest from Armidale who was this afternoon charged with four offences relating to the alleged pedophile ring.

A 63-year-old Queensland man, a former teacher at the Anglican All Saints College in Bathurst, was also arrested and charged today with three counts of indecent assault relating to the alleged abuse of a boy at that school in 1973.

He was bailed to appear at Bathurst Local Court on November 17.

No prayers or chanting were thought to have been involved in the alleged attack on the student at All Saints, police said.

They said the only link between the incidents at the two schools was the timeframe in which they occurred, but a combined police strike force would incorporate both investigations.

Detective Superintendent Michael Goodwin said allegations had been made by 13 former students from St Stanislaus', and one from All Saints.

"I can't rule out the fact that there'll be further investigations. There may be more arrests," Det-Supt Goodwin said.

"Let's not forget that this whole investigation commenced because of one person having the courage to come forward.

"It's true, I dare say, that the courage of this one person has prompted the other people to come forward.

"I encourage anyone that may consider themselves a victim of sexual abuse at any school in Bathurst to make contact with the police."

St Stanislaus' principal John Edwards has said the school was served with a search warrant on July 3 containing the names of three former staff members.

Earlier today Det-Supt Goodwin said both Mr Spillane, and the 66-year-old brother arrested today were among those named.

It was not immediately clear whether the 65-year-old priest arrested this afternoon was the third person originally sought.

Mr Edwards today said he was aware of the new charges against Mr Spillane.

The school was hoping for a thorough investigation by the police, he said.

"We just want to emphasise that we are encouraging the police to be very thorough in their investigation so that ... the needs of the community are best served," he said.

"We need to have any allegations of misconduct investigated, addressed and resolved."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.