Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Priests, teachers 'in paedophile ring' at St Stanislaus school

POLICE are investigating claims that up to 40 boys were sexually abused over a seven-year period by a paedophile ring comprising priests and teachers within this exclusive private school.

The walls of St Stanislaus college in Bathurst have housed budding Wallabies players and the bravest of war correspondents but an unimaginable secret has been stored for more than 20 years.

A former priest at the school has been charged with 33 counts, a former teacher has already been convicted of several offences and two other teachers are under investigation.

In his first interview, a brave young man who used the internet to expose the abuse revealed the full extent of the horror at the school.

He is one of two victims who have said how they were herded into a prayer room by a priest chanting "hypnotic" spells in tongues.

Inside the prayer room, the boarders who attended the school in the 1980s, said they were subjected to horrendous sexual abuse or forced to assault each other.

St Stanislaus has enjoyed a reputation for sporting excellence and tutoring future representatives of Australia.

A former boarder now aged 35, who cannot be identified because of a court suppression order, started at St Stanislaus in the '80s because it was the only private school in the area his family could afford.

He alleged the abuse began after a priest took him aside for private tutoring about the Catholic Church and God two months after he arrived at the school and the horror turned into a twice-weekly event.

"They got a group between eight and 12 of us together and they'd just start chanting and I would wake up during these sessions and see what was going on," he said.

"It was like an orgy."

The second victim, who declined to give permission to be named, described the horrific night time prayer sessions in the staff's quarters under candle light.

"You'd pass out . . . they spoke in tongues . . . another element was called laying on hands, that was the basis he would engage in physical contact," the victim said.

He said the students were all small in stature and many of them emotionally troubled.

It is expected the victim count could reach 40 but some people have been unwilling to talk about the past.

"I know of people who have been contacted, they said, 'Yes, you're right but I haven't told my wife what happened to me I'm not going to tell you guys (police)," he said.

Principal John Edwards said yesterday the school viewed any allegation of sexual misconduct with "grave concern" and had been working with the police.


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(Source: DT)

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