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Marist Fathers plead not guilty to sex offences


Two priests formerly from Burnie's Marist Catholic College in Tasmania's north-west have pleaded not guilty to alleged sex offences.

ABC Tasmania reports that Gregory Lawrence Ferguson, 66, and Roger Michael Bellemore, 68, both now live in Sydney and were not required to appear in the Burnie Magistrates Court this morning.

Pleas of not guilty were entered on their behalf by defence counsel Greg Walsh.

Bellemore is charged with three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person and one of indecent assault, while Ferguson is charged with five counts of indecent assault, one of attempted indecent assault and one of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person.

The charges date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The cases were adjourned for committal proceedings in November.

Meanwhile a Catholic schoolboy was remanded in custody yesterday charged with sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy in a shopping centre.

The 16-year-old Year 11 student, who cannot be named, went to police on Wednesday night.

Hours earlier, police released closed-circuit TV footage of a child being led away at Big W in Chullora Marketplace, in Sydney, before being sexually assaulted in a public toilet.

The court heard that the accused should not be released as he may re-offend.

SOURCE
Former priests plead not guilty to sex offences (ABC Tasmania 22/7/04)
Boy sex attacker 'may re-offend' (The Courier Mail 23/7/04)

LINKS
The Vatican's big secret (The Australian 23/7/04)
Schoolboy denied bail (Daily Telegraph 23/7/04)
Vatican 'complicit in abuse cover-up' (The Australian 23/7/04)
Austrian Catholics welcome apostolic visitation (Catholic Weekly 22/7/04)
Survey finds Catholics skeptical of bishops' handling of sex abuse (Catholic News Service 21/7/04)
Church source: Austrian investigation could last through September (Catholic News Service 21/7/04)
Austria Grateful for Papal Action for Sankt Poelten (Zenit 21/7/04)
Speedy response to Austrian sex scandal reflects seriousness (CathNews 22/7/04)
Marist priests front court over alleged sexual offences (CathNews 12/5/04)
Marist Regional College
Marish Fathers


23 Jul 2004