Paedophile priest David Rapson jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing students

By Adam Cooper And Cameron Houston
May 11, 2015

Former Catholic Priest David Rapson has been jailed for at least nine years for sexually abusing children at two schools.

One of Rapson's victims described being tortured by the former priest's "evil smile".

One of David Rapson's victims screamed at the paedophile priest as he was led away after being jailed for at least nine years for sexually abusing students at two Victorian schools.

"Hope you die in jail, you dog," the man yelled as the former Catholic priest was led into custody moments after he was jailed for 12 years and one month by a County Court judge on Monday.

Rapson, who was this year found guilty in trials of abusing six boys between 1976 and 1990, must serve nine years and four months in prison before he is eligible for parole.

The 61-year-old was this year found guilty of five charges of rape and six counts of indecent assault, related to attacks on six students at two schools. The boys were aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time, and Rapson was deputy principal during some of his offending.

Judge James Parrish described the former priest as a "ruthless sexual predator" for the way he lured children to his office with cigarettes, alcohol, lollies and the chance to play computer games, before assaulting them. He assaulted others in the school's infirmary, the court heard.

The offending represented a breach of trust of "incalculable" proportions between a teacher and his students, the judge said, while the attacks displayed unrelenting "cruelty and violence bordering on being sadistic".

"You can be appropriately described as a sexual predator seeking sexual fulfilment at the expense of these young boys," Judge Parrish said.

"You have not shown any remorse whatsoever for all your offending, or indeed, any insight into the nature of your offending or the consequences of it."

Rapson was in 2013 jailed for 13 years, to serve a minimum 10 years, for attacks on eight students, but those convictions were last year quashed and he was freed from custody when the Court of Appeal was told the case against him should have been split into several trials.

Three juries this year found him guilty of the five charges of rape and six counts of indecent assault. A fourth jury found him not guilty of one count of indecent assault, related to a seventh complainant.

Judge Parrish said victim impact statements illustrated the devastating impact Rapson's offending had on those he abused, who are now men aged in their 40s and 50s.

Common themes among the men were lives damaged by binges with alcohol, drugs and crime, difficulties in relationships with loved ones, and the constant torment of anger and fear.

One of the two boys raped underwent surgery as a teenager to mend a ruptured testicle.

Judge Parrish said one of the victims had reported experiencing nightmares after leaving the school, compounded by a fear of the dark and of having his bedroom door closed.

Another man said he felt cheated of an education and had feared his own children would be abused when they attended school. Another had been plagued by self-doubt, had a fear of authority and was tortured by Rapson's "evil smile".

Judge Parrish said Rapson was regularly beaten as a child by his alcoholic stepfather, and had been sexually abused by two men who had provided him sanctuary.

He was jailed in the early 1990s for sexually abusing a student and later defrocked by the church.

Judge Parrish acknowledged jail would be more onerous given the former priest had developed mental-health problems since he was jailed in 2013.


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