Former Saint Ignatius College priest Stanislaus John Hogan has sentence for child porn offences suspended on appeal

By Ken Mcgregor
Perth Now
July 29, 2015

Former Saint Ignatius College priest Stanislaus John Hogan has had his sentence for child pornography offences suspended on appeal.

A PRIEST at a prestigious Adelaide private school who downloaded more than 1500 images of child pornography will walk from jail after his sentence was suspended on appeal.

Father Stanislaus John Hogan was sentenced in March this year to two years and six months’ jail, with a non-parole period of 10 months, after pleading guilty to one count of using a carriage service to access child pornography and one aggravated count of possessing child pornography.

The District Court had heard that police seized 1555 images and videos as part of an illicit children pornography collection, which also included magazines and books of children aged between three and 16 years.

The collection was found during a police raid of Hogan’s Saint Ignatius College residence at Athelstone in 2012.

Hogan appealed his sentence to the Court of Criminal Appeal, which on Wednesday unanimously agreed to reduce his sentence, making him eligible for immediate release from jail.

Hogan’s sentence was wholly suspended on the condition he enter a 18-month good behaviour bond.

In his judgment, Justice Greg Parker said most of the now-illicit material had been obtained legally decades ago or was classified towards the lower end of the scale of child exploitation.

He said none of the material was earmarked for distribution or sale, Hogan had pleaded guilty at an early stage, had cooperated with police and had made significant voluntary steps towards his rehabilitation.

“The conduct was not engaged in over a significant period of time, did not involve a substantial amount of pornographic material and the child pornography was of the least serious kind — that is only in a relative sense; all child pornography is serious,” he said.

In imposing the original sentence in March, District Court Judge Peter Brebner said Hogan had lost his reputation and vocation as a consequence of his crimes.

But he said the crimes were “too serious” for him to consider suspending the sentence.

Hogan had been Saint Ignatius College’s rector at the time of the 2012 raid and had previously held prominent teaching positions throughout Australia, including at St Aloysius’ in Sydney and Xavier College in Melbourne.

Justice Parker said Hogan had been held in high esteem by teachers and students in South Australia before his arrest and “there had not been the slightest suggestion that the conduct ... towards his students was at any time inappropriate”.

Chief Justice Chris Kourakis and Justice Kevin Nicholson concurred with Justice Parker’s findings.

Justice Parker said the court had been told Hogan will return to the Jesuit Community’s Sevenhill residence, near Clare, upon his release where he had been placed under an “interim safeguarding agreement”.

He said, among other conditions, the “onerous” agreement prevented him from undertaking any public activity, his priestly functions, access to money or the internet and his mail would be scrutinised.

In return, the judgment says, the Jesuit Community has agreed to financially support him.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.