School Abuse Inquiry Extended To More Cases
POLICE are investigating up
to 15 potential new cases of sexual abuse involving students at
Blackfriars Priory School.
Various allegations - ranging
from abuse to possession of pornographic photographs - that involve
up to six former teachers at Blackfriars are being scrutinised.
The allegations - none of them
involving current students - have
been made by people who have
contacted either the hotline established by Blackfriars Priory School
last month or CrimeStoppers.
They come as another former
teacher, this time from Trinity College, was arrested by Elizabeth
detectives yesterday on sexual
The teacher was employed at the
college during the late 1980s.
Adelaide Anglican Archbishop
lan George and Trinity College
headmaster Luke Thomson last
night both expressed their concern
over the latest allegation, with former students who may have been
affected urged to come forward.
In the Blackfriars' investigation,
sources have told The Advertiser
five cases involve a teacher who
was the subject of an internal
school inquiry in 1991 after allegations of inappropriate behaviour
were made involving one student.
The teacher left the school after
the internal inquiry, but his alleged
actions were reported to welfare
authorities. In 1997, he was convicted of unrelated
pedophile offences and served a short jail term.
In January, Blackfriars principal
Dr Paul Hine ordered an inquiry
into the school's handling of the
abuse allegations in 1991.
Another five allegations involve students
who were allegedly abused by a
former teacher who was charged by
police in January this year.
The man is facing 19 charges
relating to the alleged sexual abuse
of another five students. The remainder involve allegations made
against another four former
teachers at Blackfriars. Some of
the allegations date back to 1960.
Senior police confirmed the
new investigations were being
conducted by detectives from the
Child Exploitation Investigation
Section of the Major Crime Investigation Branch.
"Child Exploitation detectives
win be contacting all people who
have provided information,"
Major Crime Acting Superintendent John Venditto said.
"Each of the people who have
made contact will have their information assessed to determine
if they are a victim of sexual
abuse or witnesses in other
Blackfriars principal Dr Paul
Hine confirmed "all, relevant information has been passed onto
SAPOL for consideration."
"Blackfriars is now considering
how it can best respond to individual issues which have been
raised by some callers," he said.
"To date our focus has been
offering pastoral care to those in
need and ensuring we continue
to co-operate with police. I
strongly urge anyone with any
information related to child protection
they believe may be helpful to police, or should be brought
to the attention of the school to
call the hotline or
"Blackfriars started this process not knowing what would
emerge, but with a determination to deal with whatever
came to light."
On March 18 The Advertiser
revealed a former teacher had
been charged with sexually abusing Blackfriars students over a
The alleged offences occurred
between November, 1977 and December, 1989 when the man was
a teacher and then involved at
Blackfriars in another capacity.
The man allegedly befriended
the boys at the school and on
school camps and then took
them on private camps where the
abuse allegedly -took place.
Blackfriars established the
hotline on March 17 after alerting current and
former students and the wider
school community to allegations
of abuse involving the former
teacher. So far almost 70 people
have called the hotline for
counselling, to provide information or seek information.
Trinity College also has set up
a support network for students,
staff and parents that may be
affected by its former teacher's
sexual abuse. People are encouraged to call the college
if they wish to discuss the
matter or seek help.
"Sexual abuse is totally unacceptable to our college
community," Mr Thomson said.
He said the college had in place
a child Protection policy which
included employee and volunteer
screening, staff training and
mandatory reporting if any indication of sexual abuse was noted.
"We will stand against the
problem of child sexual abuse
with determination and the force
of the law," he said.
Adelaide Advertiser 3-4-2004