Anglican Priest Molested Boys

By Tony Keim
Courier Mail
April 24, 2009,23739,25379425-3102,00.html

UPDATE: A FORMER senior Anglican Church priest has been jailed for three years for molesting three altar boys more than 25 years ago.

Anglican Canon Barry John Greaves, 71, today pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to seven counts of indecent treatment of boys under 17 and two of indecent treatment of boys under 12.

Senior Judge Gilbert Trafford-Walker was told one of Greaves's victims was molested after he counselled the boy in the wake of the death of his father.

Prosecutor Jody-Ann Thomas said two brothers a a third boy, then aged from 11 to 16, were forced to engage in mutual oral sex and masturbation over a two year period.

The sexual abuse was inflicted while Greaves was an Anglican rector southwest of Brisbane.

Ms Thomas said Greaves befriended the boys, who all looked up to him as a fatherly-type figure, but then betrayed them by molesting them between 1980-82.

The court was told the abuse remained a secret until one of the victims saw Greaves during a Toowoomba church service several years ago.

Ms Thomas said the victim then made a complaint to police and also gave them the names of two other people he suspected were also molested by Greaves.

The court was not told and it remains unclear whether Greaves has been stripped of his highly placed office as an Anglican Canon in the wake of his admission to the sex abuse charges.

Barrister Mark Johnson said Greaves was deeply ashamed and sorry for what he had done to the boys.

Mr Johnson said Greaves was also remorseful for the shame he brought upon himself, his family and the Anglican Church.

"He deeply regrets what's happened," he said.

Judge Trafford-Walker said it was extremely unfortunate that the prevalence of priests molesting parishioners had so severely tarnished the fine reputations of Christian and religious faiths of numerous denominations.

"Quite clearly your conduct on these three young boys caused them harm for many years," he said.

"It is a tragedy for the children. It is a tragedy for the church."

He sentenced Greaves to a three jail term, but ordered he be released after serving nine months.


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