Extradition Ordered for Former Principal; Australian Authorities Allege 36 Sex Offenses

By Tim Bryant
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
November 1, 1995

A federal judge has ordered a former Catholic school principal in Florissant returned to Australia, where he is accused of three dozen sexual assaults on school-age children.

The extradition order - disclosed Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge David D. Noce - cites additional charges against the principal, Gregory J. Sutton, who was arrested here on Aug. 15.

Australia's initial request for extradition said that Sutton was accused of sexually abusing four students a decade ago at a Catholic school, where he taught in Lismore, New South Wales.

Noce disclosed in his order that on Aug. 28, a judge in Campbelltown, New South Wales, issued arrest warrants charging Sutton with 12 more sexual assaults on youngsters, Noce's order gave no details of the new charges.

Sutton is charged in New South Wales with 36 sexual offenses against yourgsters under the age of 16, Noce said in his order. Noce gave Sutton 10 days to appeal the extradition order to a district judge here.

Sutton, 44, of Shrewsbury, has been held without bail since federal marshals arrested him at his home 11 weeks ago. For the past two years, Sutton was principal of St. Dismas Catholic School in Florissant. He has not been accused of any assaults on students there.

The U.S. attorney's office here presented Australia's extradition request. The spokeswoman for the office said that an obstacle to extraditions nationwide had been overcome. On Aug. 31, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington ruled that U.S. extradition law was unconstitional.

Lamberth's ruling held up the extradition case of Sutton and about 250 other people nationwide. But on Sept. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia allowed extraditions to proceed except for the three involved in the Lamberth's case.

Lamberth had ruled that the extradition law violated the constitutional separation of powers because it gives the secretary of state authority to review judges' extradition decision.


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