Category: Child Sex Offences

Pope Defrocks Priest who Sexually Abused Children


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim In an exceptionally rare but welcomed move, Pope Francis (pictured) has defrocked a Chilean priest convicted of sexually assaulting children. It’s the toughest penalty available to the Pope – with the exception of ex-communication, and a sign the Church may finally be taking a stronger stance against clergymen who ...

Family Court ‘Expert’ Under Investigation


There are calls for change in the Australian family law system after an approved ‘expert’ was referred for investigation over allegations he prepared “grossly inaccurate” reports to be presented in evidence to support claims of child abuse and family violence. A group of parents has accused the expert of “grossly inaccurate and incomplete” recording of ...

Catholic Church Continues Refusal to Report Child Sexual Assaults


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim Australia’s Catholic leaders have steadfastly refused to break the seal of confession, regardless of the consequences. Existing laws Section 127 of the New South Wales Evidence Act enables clergy “to refuse to disclose a religious confession made to him or her, unless the confession was made for a criminal ...

Convicted Catholic Archbishop Resigns


The most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of concealing a serious indictable offence has resigned amid intense public pressure. 67-year old Adelaide Archbishop Phillip Wilson stepped-down from his position yesterday, more than two months after being found guilty of covering-up the abuse of two altar boys by a fellow priest. The story ...

The Impact of Social Media on a Fair Trial


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim Social media can be a source of information and leisure, a way to connect with other people and a means to express views about a range of subjects – including those which invoke emotions such as anger and disgust. But legal experts are warning social media users to be ...

NSW Passes Stronger Child Sexual Abuse Laws, But Priests Remain Protected


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Late last night, the parliament of NSW passed one of the most comprehensive criminal justice reform packages in state history. The state’s attorney general Mark Speakman introduced the legislation designed to crackdown on child sexual predators into state parliament on June 6. The Criminal Legislation Amendment (Child Sexual Abuse) Bill ...

Catholic Priests Refuse to Report Child Sexual Abuse


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim South Australian Catholic priests say they will defy a forthcoming state law which will require them to report information received during past or present confessions about child sex abuse. The South Australian Catholic Church has made it clear its members will be directed not adhere to the laws because ...

Pell to Stand Trial over Child Sexual Assault Allegations


The Melbourne Magistrates Court has committed Cardinal George Pell to stand trial over multiple historical child sexual assault allegations. Magistrate Belinda Wallington found there is enough evidence for Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric to stand trial. However, the court discharged the Cardinal of a number of serious charges due to the unreliability of the complainant ...

‘Naked Bikie’ Granted Bail Over Allegations of Possessing Child Abuse Material


Police have charged one of Australia’s most notorious biker club members with possessing child abuse material, after detectives allegedly found explicit images on his hard drive. It has been reported that 41-year old Erkan Keskin’s computer was seized along with a mobile phone and prohibited drugs as part of Strike Force Estop investigations into the ...

Catholic Church: $30 Billion But Won’t Pay Child Sexual Assault Victims


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim Wealthy, ruthless and immoral: these are some of the words used to describe the Catholic Church during the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Despite its wealth being comparable to some of Australia’s largest corporations, the Church has fought for many years against compensating victims ...