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Australia Historic Christian Brothers sexual abuse case receives letter admitting rape of orphan

11:00  21 january  2020
11:00  21 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The sexual abuse scandal in the Congregation of Christian Brothers is a major chapter in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in various Western jurisdictions. In Australia, there were allegations that during the 1970s sexual abuses took place at the junior campus of St Patrick's College and St Alipius

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WARNING: This story contains material that some readers may find upsetting

In an open letter, delivered on the eve of a historic trial, the Christian Brothers have admitted several brothers sexually abused child migrant John Thomas Lawrence from the age of nine in two Perth boys' homes.

a close up of a man driving a car: John Lawrence was abused from the age of nine at the hands of the Christian Brothers. (ABC News)© Provided by ABC NEWS John Lawrence was abused from the age of nine at the hands of the Christian Brothers. (ABC News)

The case is the first of its kind to go trial since Western Australia removed a time limit restricting when child sexual abuse cases could be brought.

Paul Bradshaw received a $1 million settlement after he was abused by the Christian Brothers.© ABC News: David Weber Paul Bradshaw received a $1 million settlement after he was abused by the Christian Brothers. A similar case brought by a terminally ill man, Paul Bradshaw, was settled for $1 million before proceeding to trial in 2018.

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As distinct from abuse by some parish priests, who are subject to diocesan control, there has also been abuse by members of Roman Catholic orders, which often care for the sick or teach at school. While diocesan clergy have arranged parish transfers of abusive priests

Catholic sexual abuse cases in Australia, like Catholic sexual abuse scandals elsewhere, have involved convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by

Mr Lawrence's trial was due to begin today, but his barrister, Tim Hammond, revealed the Christian Brothers had admitted "many facts" about the abuse at the Clontarf and Castledare orphanages in an open letter delivered on Monday night.

The facts Mr Hammond detailed included an incident at Castledare Boys' Home, which began when Mr Lawrence wet the bed.

Mr Hammond told the Perth District Court Mr Lawrence was nine at the time and his abuser, now deceased brother Lawrence Murphy, was in his mid-30s.

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In May 2013, the Christian Brothers admitted to Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child abuse that they did what they could to defend order members accused of sexual assault against children. They admitted to hiring a private investigator to follow one of Brother Robert Best's victims.

Boys who reported sexual and physical abuse at the hands of Christian Brothers in Western Australia were often abused by the brother to whom they The commission will also hear evidence of how the Christian Brothers responded to allegations of abuse , and hear evidence from representatives of the

The court heard after Mr Lawrence wet the bed, Brother Murphy ordered him to take off his clothes.

Mr Hammond said Brother Murphy then raped him as Mr Lawrence cried and screamed.

It was the first of six rapes Brother Murphy perpetrated against Mr Lawrence.

Molestation by multiple people

Mr Hammond said another brother, Francis Marques, who is also dead, molested Mr Lawrence while they watched movies.

A third now-deceased brother, Alonzo Angus, fondled his genitals in a separate incident.

In a fourth incident, a lay teacher, Joey Jackson, who has also since died, made Mr Lawrence wear lipstick and a dress while he was abused.

Many instances of abuse against Mr Lawrence have been admitted to by the Christian Brothers.© ABC News Many instances of abuse against Mr Lawrence have been admitted to by the Christian Brothers. Mr Hammond said Mr Lawrence, who is now 75, had attempted suicide many times throughout his life and struggled to hold down a job.

Mr Lawrence's legal team will now lay out a case for damages, which Mr Hammond said should be equivalent to the value of his many years of lost wages.

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