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Church Turned Blind Eye To Evil

THOSE Queenslanders who ever had to suffer the psalm-singing cant of Anglican priest Ray Ayles over the years might take some bitter pleasure in the final unmasking of this serial pedophile.
Ayles, 61, who practised his knee-bending trade in Cloncurry and Mackay, was sent away for two years when he appeared in an Adelaide court charged with indecently assaulting a 15-year-old altar boy in the 1970s.
Back in 1993 he was convicted of putting the hard word on a couple of kids during a youth camp a few years earlier.
That little escapade cost him the Order of Australia Medal he was given for community work in 1987, which sort of makes you wonder about quality control when it comes to handing out baubles.
Sadly, his altar-boy victim says that when he reported the assault, the church tried to cover it up, saying it would be sorted out internally.
Ayles then went on to talk dirty at the youth camp but only now is the church looking at defrocking him.
It's a bad look for the church. And it could get worse because at least one north Queensland mum claims her son was exploited by Ayles with dire and ongoing consequences.
Odds are there will be more.

The Sunday Mail (13-8-2006)
Terry Sweetman

Abusive Priest Is Jailed

A PEDOPHILE priest who wanted to marry his altar boy lover has been jailed for at least two years.
Former Anglican priest Raymond Frederick Ayles, 61, was convicted of three counts of indecent assault stemming from his 15-month relationship with the boy in the 1970s while he was the priest of an Adelaide parish.
The father of three, of Cloncurry, Queensland, said he had loved his victim and wanted to exchange vows with the boy as soon as he turned 16.
But the relationship ended in 1975 when the boy's mother discovered explicit love letters the pair sent to one another after Ayles moved from Adelaide to Queensland.
A South Australian District Court said on Tuesday Ayles may have believed he loved the boy -- known as T -- but had abused his trust.
"You told him it (the relationship) was only natural and it was not sinful," Judge Andrea Simpson said.
"(But) what was only natural was that he would want to please you. He respected and looked up to you as a role model.
"Looking back, he (now) sees you as a very persuasive man who made him feel a little trapped in his relationship with you.
"He finds it hard to believe now that someone, least of all his parish priest, wanted to take vows with him when he was only 15 years old."
Ayles was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1987, but was stripped of the honour a decade later for an unrelated child sex conviction.
Judge Simpson accepted Ayles was sorry for his offending against T, but said his subsequent offending showed he lacked insight into his crimes and was emotionally and sexually immature.
Ayles faced a maximum 21 years' jail for the indecent assault convictions.
Judge Simpson, citing his community service and telling Ayles she was "extending to you as much compassion as I can", jailed him for four years, with a non-parole period of two years.

Herald Sun (10-8-2006)
Lauren Ahwan

Jailed Abuse Priest Faces Defrocking

AN anglican priest who wanted to marry his 15-year-old homosexual lover could be stripped of his priesthood after being jailed for indecently assaulting the youth in the 1970s.
Raymond Frederick Ayles, 61, will be the first priest facing "defrocking" for committing child sex abuse offences under new church laws introduced by the Adelaide Anglican Church Synod three months ago.
District Court Judge Andrea Simpson yesterday sentenced Ayles to four years' jail, with a two-year non-parole period, after he was found guilty of sexually abusing altar boy Michael Ian Tolley between 1973 and 1975.
Mr Tolley's parents, Mike and Ann Tolley, reported Ayles to church authorities in 1975 after they intercepted a sexually explicit letter he sent to their northern suburbs home.
They were told by two church officials, including an archdeacon, not to report the matter to police "because the church would take care of it".
Ayles, who was then based in Far North Queensland, later returned to SA, where he was arrested in 1992 after encouraging two 15-year- old boys to masturbate in front of him during a Hills church youth camp.
Judge Simpson yesterday told Ayles he had abused the trust of young people who were placed in his care, beginning with Mr Tolley in the 1970s and then the two other youths in the early 1990s.
His sexual relationship with Mr Tolley had lasted 15 months, culminating in Ayles telling the 15-year-old he was his "only love" and wanted to exchange vows with him when he turned 16.
Judge Simpson said Ayles, who was stripped of an Order of Australia medal after he was convicted over the Adelaide Hills incident in 1993, had to be jailed to send a message to other pedophiles that their behaviour would not be tolerated.
Outside court, Mr Tolley, 47, who has given The Advertiser permission to reveal his identity, said he and his parents were relieved their 30-year ordeal was over.
"We're just so glad that, after all this time, justice has finally been done," he said.

Adelaide Advertiser (9-8-2006)
Colin James

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