93 Charges for Ex-Chaplain

By Terry Jones
Western Advocate
September 17, 2008

SIXTEEN students had allegedly been sexually assaulted while under the authority of a former St Stanislaus' College chaplain, it was revealed this week when 93 charges were laid in the Bathurst Local Court.

Former chaplain Brian Joseph Spillane, 65, is facing most of 125 charges levelled against three former members of the Vincentian teaching order at the college.

Some of the allegations include inciting group sex between students at late-night prayer sessions.

Twenty-eight charges have been laid against former bursar and vice-principal John Francis Gaven, 66, including one count of inciting the participation of up to five students in acts of indecency.

And former principal and president Peter William Dwyer, 65, is facing four allegations relating to one student.

His accuser was a 13-year-old boy when he was allegedly indecently assaulted by Dwyer in 1987 and 14-years-old when a similar indecent assault allegedly occurred in 1988.

All 125 of the allegations have been denied by the former priest and two brothers who have entered not guilty pleas through their barrister Greg Walsh, who said three innocent men have been caught up in a "witch hunt".

All three defendants will have briefs of evidence served against them by October 27 before they return for a hearing on November 10 at Bathurst Court House.

By far the most horrific allegations of late night abuse under authority as a teacher are levelled against Spillane.

The charges against Spillane, dating back more than 20 years, involve boys then aged 11 to 13.

Initially 33 charges were laid against Spillane alleging gross acts of indecency with five boys including penetration, as well soliciting and inciting groups of boys to commit sex acts between March and November 1986.

Sixty new charges laid on Monday allege Spillane committed or incited sexual assaults on a further 11 boys.

Some boys had allegedly been indecently assaulted by Spillane between March and April 1977, January to December 1984, August to October 1986 and January to June 1988.

Former bursar, Gaven, of Vincentia Street, Marsfield is alleged to have become involved in sexual assaults while vice-principal. He is also alleged to have incited a 13-year-old student to become involved with four other students in acts of indecency.

Dwyer, of Worrell Place, Armidale is facing four allegations of indecent assault while in authority when he was St Stanislaus' principal.

Spillane was the only one of the men to appear before the court in Bathurst this week.

For practical purposes, police from Strike Force Belle have arranged for Dwyer and Gaven to appear in other NSW courts.


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