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Paedophile priest Frank Klep targeted sick boys

A Judge has broken down while jailing a Victorian paedophile priest who plummeted the “depths of evil hypocrisy” in his abuse of 15 schoolchildren.
Frank Klep preyed on sick and vulnerable boys while running the infirmary at Salesian College in Rupertswood, telling one of his victims that what he was doing was “natural”.
Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo choked back tears and had to briefly leave the courtroom after describing the impact of Klep's crimes.
“The young men you have abused were broken by your conduct,” Judge Gucciardo told Klep on Monday.
“There is no doubt your conduct plummets the depths of evil hypocrisy.” Judge Gucciardo jailed Klep for 10 and a half years, setting a non-parole period of six and a half years.
Klep, who was a priest, teacher and for a time principal at the school, abused the boys between 1974 and 1983.
He often targeted boys who had been sent to the school's infirmary, and once pinned a boy down on a bed and raped him. When a boy Klep was abusing asked him what he was doing, Klep replied that it was natural.
Judge Gucciardo said Klep knew his position of authority as a priest and teacher would prevent his victims from coming forward. The boys who tried to tell their parents were not believed, the judge said.
He said Klep used vulnerable young men for his “vile sexual gratification”.
Klep, 70, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of indecent assault, buggery, attempted buggery and rape.
Broken Rites researcher Dr Bernard Barrett said Klep was inflicted upon his victims as the Catholic Church looked the other way.
“It's not just what he did with his left hand or his right hand, it's what he was allowed to do,” he told reporters outside court. “Their parents trusted the church in those days. Those days are gone.” Judge Gucciardo said he accepted that Klep was remorseful and had a low risk of reoffending.
At a plea hearing last month, defence barrister Julie Sutherland said Klep had a spectacular fall from grace and had become a pariah who was known as “the paedophile priest” wherever he went.
Klep has twice before been convicted sexually abusing children. In 2005, he was given a five-year-and-10-month prison sentence for offending under similar circumstances.
He was previously convicted of child sex crimes in 1994 and placed on an intensive corrections order.
Klep was defrocked in 2006.

www.theaustralian.com.au (26-5-2014)

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