Currently in Australia, child sexual assault remains one of the most prevalent topics in the news. With the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse uncovering harrowing reports within religious institutions, more victims are coming forward to seek justice for their trauma. This was evident in a recent case brought before the District Court of NSW.
Background of the assault
In early 1982, the victim was in sixth class at primary school. At the beginning of the school year, there was a group mass. Here, the victim was an alter boy, and the offender an assistant priest. After mass, the offender asked the victim to stay back. He mentioned how the boy had to undergo an 'initiation' in order to become a proper alter boy. From here, the offender put his hand up the young boy's shorts and began touching him inappropriately through his underwear.
On the same occasion, the offender turned the victim around and pulled down his pants. He squeezed the boy's buttocks and began rubbing his anus.
After both incidents, the offender threatened the victim by saying that if he told anyone what had occurred, harm would come to him, and his family would be kicked out of the church.
Later in the year, the offender sexually assaulted the young boy once again.
What occurred during the hearing?
The hearing, which took place on February 27, 2019, included the offender's defence statements. Despite having a long history of sexual offending against young boys, the man had difficulty understanding why he had molested children under his care and denied having committed offences against the victim.
When analysing all evidence and reports, the court submitted that the victim was vulnerable, considering the significant age, size and power imbalance between the offender and the young boy.
After considering the seriousness of the offences and the offender's history of sexual assault, the court sentenced the man to a non-parole period of seven years and six months.
Sexual assault in any context can be an extremely tough subject to share. That's why our specialist legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners take the time to ensure you feel comfortable and confident when going through the claims process. For more information on how we can help you, please get in touch today.