Victim Sent to Different Campus to “keep Her Safe”

By Victoria Nugent
Townsville Bulletin
November 3, 2016

THE former principal of a Townsville boarding school said a rape victim was sent to a different campus to prevent the offenders from fleeing the school and escaping investigation.

Christopher Shirley, who was Shalom Christian College’s principal at the time of the 2006 assault, said the 14-year-old girl, referred to during the commission as CLF, was sent to the school’s Crystal Creek campus after disclosing the incident.

He added that he wanted to prevent the boys from “absconding from the school” if they thought the matter was being under investigation.

“My main concern was to make sure CLF was safe,” he said.

“My intention was to keep things calm, let them think no punishment was going to happen.”

It comes after CLF’s parents said yesterday they didn’t understand why their daughter was sent away rather than the boys involved.

Mr Shirley also denied claims by CLF’s parents that he didn’t want to report the assault to police.

“I over report, I don’t under report,” he said.

“I had already activated procedures before they arrived.”

He also denied suggesting that the boys came from influential families.

Mr Shirley told the commission at the time the school would have received up to 20 reports of “sexualised matters” a year, including incidents that occurred outside school within their own communities.








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