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Salesian facing more abuse charges

A Salesian priest who had been working in Samoa despite being wanted on sex abuse charges in Australia has been accused of molesting seven more boys, according to reports in the media in the US this week.

Fr Frank Klep faces 24 new criminal charges next month in Melbourne, Australia, the Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday. The News first broke the story earlier this year.

The Samoan government deported Klep in June because the priest had failed to disclose a 1994 conviction in the abuse of two brothers at the Salesian school at Subury outside Melbourne, where he had been the principal in the 1970s. He had been sentenced to nine months of community service.

Samoan officials learned of the old charges from the US newspaper report.

Upon the priest's return to Australia, he was immediately arrested on the outstanding abuse charges, which had been filed in 1998, involving one boy. He was released on bail.

Victorian police declined to release details of the new charges.

Klep's Provincial superior, Fr Ian Murdoch, has said the order did not send the priest abroad to help him evade the law.

Priest Facing More Charges in Australia (Newsday/Associated Press 7/10/04)

Priest charged with sex abuse in Australia (Dallas Morning News 5/10/04)
Cardinal Pell urges use of police (The Age 5/8/04)
Order must talk on abuse: author (The Age 2/8/04)
Towards Healing
Another top Salesian speaks to The Age (CathNews 21/7/04)
Salesians ponder big picture (The Age 20/7/04)
Salesian provincial speaks on sex-abuse scandal (Catholic World News 19/7/04)
Mission to defrock sex abuser (The Age 19/7/04)
Salesian Provincial breaks silence on sex abuse (CathNews 19/7/04)
Salesian principal faces abuse claim (CathNews 15/7/04)
Allegation causes principal to stand aside (ABC North & West SA 14/7/04)
Salesian priest leaves Samoa (CathNews 9/7/04)
Salesian Works in Samoa: Moamoa Theological College
Convicted priest continues direct contact with children (Samoa News/Tala Nei News)

Child porn cop netted in web hunt (The Australian 8/10/04)
Teacher and police under investigation (Herald-Sun 8/10/04)
Howard wimps out on child porn protection (The Australia Instituite 7/10/04)
Townsville teacher arrested on child porn charges (Yahoo/ABC 7/10/04)
Head of ad hoc sex abuse committee backs continuing 'zero tolerance' (Catholic News Service 7/10/04)

8 Oct 2004