Former priest guilty of altar boys sex abuse

By Shannon Hampton
West Australian
November 28, 2016

[with video]

A former WA Anglican priest has been found guilty of historic child sex offences against five boys dating back to the 1950s.

After facing a five-day District Court trial, a jury today found Raymond Sydney Cheek guilty of assaulting the boys, who are not known to each other, between 1955 and 1985.

Mr Cheek was convicted of two counts of indecently dealing with a child under age 14, two counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an act of gross indecency with a male person.

Four of the men came forward after news of Cheek being charged over an incident that occurred in Williams in 1985 became public.

That man told police Cheek undressed him and rubbed his body against him when he was 15 years old.

He claimed Cheek, who was the Anglican parish priest in Williams at the time, told him that he should keep quiet because God doesn't like liars.

The other men were allegedly assaulted by Cheek between 1955 and 1976 at churches in Ravensthorpe and Albany and during dealings with him in the Wembley scouts.

Two of the victims said they were alter boys when they were molested.

One man told the court he was aged as young as 8 when Cheek fondled him after telling him it was church tradition for the parish priest to dress the altar boy.

During the trial, Prosecutor Alan Dungey told the jury that there was "remarkable" similarities between the victims' complaints.

"These men did not know each other, they have never met each other," Mr Dungey said.

"Their dealings with Raymond Cheek are decades apart."

Judge Ronald Birmingham, who will sentence Cheek on February 7, said a term of immediate imprisonment was "inevitable".

"It's quite evident from (the victims' evidence) that his conduct has impacted on their lives ... for 61 years in one case," he said.

Cheek was given bail on the condition he does not leave the State, work with children or contact the victims.


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