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Salesians 'knew of Klep allegations'

Parents of former students allegedly sexually abused at Salesian College in Sunbury outside Melbourne are getting together to discuss action as the scandal widened yesterday.

The Age reports that according to one alleged victim, at least 12 parents plan to write to the Salesian order and to other church leaders demanding an explanation and an end to the cover-up. Their discussions may lead to further complaints to police.

Yesterday, a former Salesian contradicted a statement by the order's Australian head that the Salesians did not know of allegations against convicted child abuser Frank Klep until last week.

Meanwhile, The Age says it is aware of abuse allegations against four other present and past Salesians.

Klep was deported from Samoa and arrested at Melbourne Airport on Friday morning. He was remanded on five charges of indecent assault.

The Salesians moved Klep to Samoa in 1998 before he was to appear in court on five charges of indecent assault. When he didn't appear, Victoria Police issued a warrant for his arrest.

The Australian head of the Salesians, Fr Ian Murdoch, said in a statement on Friday that the order was not aware of the complaints until last week. He has not taken calls since the scandal broke last Monday.

But a former Salesian said yesterday that members of the order had been told of allegations against Klep in 1998.

"We were told that the allegations weren't true and that the people were only trying to make money out of the Salesians," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"The next thing we knew he was being shipped across to Samoa."

Salesians 'knew of Klep allegations' (The Age 29/6/04)

Salesian arrested at Melbourne Airport (CathNews 28/6/04)
Counting the cost of a priest's bad faith (The Age 26/6/04)
Father Klep refused bail (ABC Radio PM 25/6/04)
Father Klep back in Australia (ABC Radio The World Today 25/6/04)
Priest charged with sex offences (AAP/The Age 25/6/04)
Paedophile priest refused bail (Herald-Sun 25/6/04)
Paedophile priest arrested in Melbourne (ABC Lateline 25/6/04)
Catholic Priest Arrested in Australia (The Guardian/Associated Press 25/6/04)
Accused child sex priest in jail (The Australian 26/6/04)
Customs lets wanted priest pass (The Age 25/6/04)
Catholic Priest Arrested in Australia (Associated Press/Bucks County Courier-Times)
Fr Klep being deported from Samoa (CathNews 25/6/04)
Sex priest to return to Melbourne (The Age 25/6/04)
Priest given 48 hours to flee (The Australian 25/6/04)
Church accused of hiding pedophile priest (Sydney Morning Herald 25/6/04)
The Salesian Congregation rejects the accusations in "The Dallas Morning News": we condemn every kind of child abuse (ANS Salesian News Agency 21/6/04)
Samoa's pedophile anger (The Australian 23/6/04)
Church compounds the sins of the fathers (The Age 23/6/04)
Pedophile priest stays out of reach (The Age 22/6/04)
Australian Salesians

29 Jun 2004