Stannies boy tells court of sex abuse

A man who says he was sexually abused by the headmaster of a NSW Catholic boarding school in the 1980s has been accused of making up lies to claim compensation from the church.

The complainant alleges Peter William Dwyer, 68, assaulted him when he was in Year 8 at St Stanislaus College at Bathurst, and threatened to expel him if he told anyone about “their secret”.

Jurors in the NSW District Court trial heard on Thursday the complainant had also made other allegations of a sexual nature against Dwyer, which he now admits are false.
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The complainant said he “set right the wrongs” by correcting the mistakes in a police statement.

“You were prepared to make up fantastic stories to get compensation out of the Catholic Church?” Dwyer’s barrister, Stephen Hanley, SC, suggested to him on Thursday.

“No, that’s not correct,” the witness replied, adding that he had made errors in his statements to the church but they were not deliberate.

“I did not concoct something for my own personal benefit.”

The complainant also denied including in his police statement for the purpose of “dramatic flair” that he was watching a crucifix above Dwyer’s bed during the incident.

Dwyer, an Order of Australia recipient, has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges including indecent assault and having sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16.

The crimes were allegedly committed between 1977 and 1992 against four boys at the school.

In his evidence on Thursday, the complainant said the attack occurred in Dwyer’s room, where he’d been sent to be disciplined for drinking alcohol.

He said Dwyer embraced him and asked, “What would your mother think?”, before sliding his hands underneath his clothes, touching his buttocks and penis.

“He was stroking it and playing with it. He said … this was our secret – I wasn’t to tell anyone or he’d have me expelled.”

Dwyer, a former Vincentian Brother, performed oral sex on the student and then told him to do the same to him, the court heard.

Asked why he went through with the act, the complainant, who says he was 13 or 14 at the time, replied: “Because I was scared.

“I said I wanted to go back to the dorm and it was reiterated I was not to speak of this – no one would believe me – but if I did, I would be in a lot of trouble.”

Under cross-examination, he said he had no recollection of telling staff at a Sydney hospital after a suicide attempt in 1999 that he had been raped by a priest at the age of 12.

He denied a suggestion by Mr Hanley that he had repeated the allegation over the years for sympathy.

The trial, before Judge Deborah Sweeney, is continuing.

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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