Elite Schools' Priest Jailed for Abuse

By Tristan Swanwick
Herald Sun

November 7, 2008,21985,24612488-662,00.html

A FORMER Catholic priest and schoolteacher who taught at some of Queensland's most prestigious private schools has been jailed for molesting young girls.

Michael Francis Reis, 66, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court yesterday to five counts of the indecent treatment of girls aged under 14 years and two counts of indecent treatment of girls aged under 16.

The court was told the abuse occurred in Brisbane from 1983 to 1985 and in Caboolture from 1992 to 1995.

The court was told Reis stopped offending in 1985 when he "realised what he was doing was wrong".

"Unfortunately 10 years later he lapsed again," his lawyer said.

Reis and two victims underwent voluntary mediation and counselling, the court was told.

After being cleared by a psychiatrist to resume his teaching career, he was hired by a Catholic school in Victoria.

The former teacher was arrested earlier this year after his victims reported their abuse to police.

Reis's lawyers tendered several references from staff and former students of Toowoomba's Downlands College.

Reis was sentenced to 18 months' jail to be suspended after six months.


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