Senior Australian Police Officer Fails to Investigate Child Sexual Abuse

Global Times
June 19, 2015

A senior Australian police officer failed to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse during regular meetings with the Catholic Church. Local media reported on Friday the New South Wales (NSW) Police Integrity Commission (PIC) found NSW Police Inspector Beth Cullen had engaged in misconduct by not disclosing a conflict of interest.

The investigation was established after Australia's national broadcaster aired allegations the NSW Police allowed the Australian Catholic Church tried to make an agreement with NSW authorities allowing it to withhold information about pedophile priests.

The investigation showed that while conflicted, Cullen failed to act on multiple allegations of child sexual abuse raised by an internal Catholic Church advisory panel, of which she was a member in breach of her duty as a police officer.

The expert panel was set up by Australian Catholic bishops to advise the church on specific cases of child sexual abuse involving clergy and persons, meeting regularly between 1999 and 2005.

Cullen's role was to advise on whether church practices breached the law and whether priests should be removed from their positions.

The decision comes as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues its investigation into the Australian Catholic Church.

The Royal Commission has heard Catholic Cardinal George Pell -- the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy of the Vatican in Rome -- allegedly bribed the nephew of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to stay quiet about sexual abuse while Ridsdale was based in the Victorian country town of Ballarat.








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