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Sydney Church sued over St Mary's choirmaster allegations

The Catholic church will today be served with legal papers initiating a $2 million lawsuit after allegations it ignored violent bullying at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral College and sexual abuse within the grounds of St Mary's Cathedral.

The civil case will be filed on behalf of Dan Buckley, a 32-year-old former choirboy who successfully prosecuted church employee and pedophile David O'Grady for sexually abusing him 21 years ago.

The legal action comes as a second choirboy has backed allegations that sacked St Mary's choirmaster David Russell witnessed a sexual assault on Mr Buckley and himself by O'Grady. Mr Russell was sacked on January 31 after a church inquiry.

The boy, now a 32-year-old policeman, has spoken publicly for the first time to Inquirer revealing he and Mr Buckley were the two choirboys being assaulted in the incident at Mr Russell's home in the early 1980s.

"He (Mr Russell) allowed it to happen," he said.

Mr Russell has denied the claim. "If O'Grady committed offences in my house, they were certainly in my absence, I was totally unaware of such events," he said.

Last month Mr Russell launched a wrongful dismissal case against the church in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

The Weekend Australian (payment required)

Ex-choirboy sues church (Daily Telegraph) (payment required)
Sacked Sydney choirmaster claims Archbishop was hijacked (10/2/03)
Parents back sacked choirmaster (Daily Telegraph)
Archbishop was hijacked, claims sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald)
Cathedral music director dismissed after 'extensive inquiry': church (ABC)
Statement of David Russell (9/2/03)
Pedophile victim to sue church over abuse in home of sacked choirmaster (Sydney Morning Herald 8/2/03)
Anger over sacking of Sydney Cathedral stalwart (6/2/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | St Mary's Cathedral | Sacred Music

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3 Mar 2003