St Stanislaus" Sex Case Deepens

By Janet Fife-yeomans
The Australian

September 3, 2008,25197,24285949-5006784,00.html

THE former Catholic priest accused of involvement in an alleged child sex ring at a New South Wales school left Hurstville police station last night after 60 fresh charges were laid involving eight more of his former pupils.

The young men came forward after their former chaplain and teacher, Brian Spillane, 65, was arrested in May and charged with sexually assaulting five students.

Bathurst's St Stanislaus College has been at the centre of a police investigation by Strike Force Heador into claims of sexual abuse by Mr Spillane and two other former staff members over 20 years ago.

Mr Spillane, of Riverwood, who is now married, was bailed.

Mr Spillane joined the school, which has both boarding and day students and is run by the Vincentians Fathers order, in the 1970s.

He left for a time and returned in the mid-1980s, when he was school chaplain for a number of years. He left the school in the early 1990s.

It is alleged the abuse happened during late-night charismatic prayer sessions which involved chanting.

Last month, Mr Spillane appeared at Bathurst Local Court on 33 charges relating to sexual assault and acts of gross indecency on five former students when they were juveniles aged between 10 and 18.

The court heard at the time that nothing of a criminal nature was known about the former priest.

Mr Spillane's lawyer, Greg Walsh, said he was concerned the fresh charges were laid as the result of a "police trawl".

"These are not complainants who have spontaneously come forward but have made allegations as a result of gross contamination," Mr Walsh said yesterday.

"The real concern here is whether someone such as my client can obtain a fair trial in these circumstances."

He has said the former priest "emphatically" denied the claims.

Police have also spoken to a former St Stanislaus teacher, Stephen Joseph Wade, who served 15 months in jail for a sex attack on a then Year 7 student in 1986.

Mr Spillane is due to face Bathurst Local Court again on September 15.


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