Wrestling with Priest Turned into Sexual Assault: Court

Maitland Mercury
May 10, 2012

One of the men who was allegedly abused by a Hunter priest told a Sydney District Court jury in great detail how one-on-one wrestling matches turned into regular sexual assaults when he was a young boy.

He told the court the assaults allegedly happened several times, but he didn't tell anyone at the time because his mother "thought the world" of the priest.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave evidence yesterday, revealing how the priest, who was at least 10 years older than him, would start wrestling with him, pin him to the ground by straddling him face-down and would rub himself inappropriately on the 12-year-old boy.

It is understood wrestling was a popular hobby among young boys during this time.

The pair would usually chat first before the wrestling started and it would take place at the church grounds or often at a "deserted" park on Sunday afternoons, the court heard.

The alleged victim recalled a time where the priest asked him to help him move some furniture at the church.

He said he couldn't recall how it started on this particular day but remembers the priest "wanted to wrestle".

He said he remembers being pinned to the ground during the wrestle when the priest started tugging at his shorts and underpants.

"I started to get really upset and I was crying, I was angry, I asked him to stop and he would not stop," he said.

"I can't remember how long it [went for] but at the time it felt like forever, and then he eventually let me up."

He told the court the priest had allegedly locked the door at the back of the church and when he tried to leave he could not get out. "I didn't tell anyone because I was upset and embarrassed about what had happened to me and I couldn't tell my mother because my mother thought the world of [the accused] and I didn't want to upset my mother," he said.

The trial continues.


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