MAKO - Paedophile Priest
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Predator priest Frank Klep has so much to give, lawyer tells court
A predator priest who abused 15 boys across two decades should not die in jail because he
has “so much to give” the community, his lawyer says.
Frank Klep’s crimes were so sick he was banned from working with children, stripped of
his priestly duties and ultimately laicised by the Catholic Church.
But seeking mercy on his behalf today, Julie Sutherland, SC, told County Court judge
Frank Gucciardo her 70-year-old client was a valuable member of the community.
“He clearly has so much to give. There are people in the community who could benefit
by the help (and) comfort of this man,” she said.
Ms Sutherland said he had worked tirelessly for the community, fundraising for charity,
and supporting drug addicts and victims of sexual abuse.
She said he felt a “genuine, heartfelt remorse” and was “profoundly sorry and ashamed”
for the pain he had caused his victims.
Klep sexually abused 15 schoolboys at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury while working there between 1973 to 1984.
He is one of a string of priests who worked there at the time who have since been convicted of horrific crimes against children.
He has already served one prison term for similar offences.
It is the third time he has either pleaded guilty to or been convicted of indecently assaulting schoolboys.
The court heard today he preyed on many of his victims as they lay ill in the school’s sick bay, which he operated.
Several of the boys awoke during the night to find Klep had removed their pants and was fondling their genitals.
One boy was pinned to his bed and raped.
Klep pleaded guilty to 12 counts of indecent assault, buggery, attempted buggery and rape.
Ms Sutherland urged Judge Gucciardo not to impose a prison term that would see Klep die behind bars.
She said he had pleaded guilty to the offences at an early opportunity, had lost his career, and had been publicly disgraced.
“He went from priest to pariah. He remains a pariah,” she said.
Klep, who has been remanded in custody, will be sentenced next month.
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
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.
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