Adelaide parents defend spending sex abuse payout
Following adverse press coverage at the weekend, parents who received payouts from the Archdiocese of Adelaide after their disabled children were sexually abused by an Adelaide Catholic school worker in the 1980s and 1990s have defended their handling of the money.
The ABC reports that the group of parents is calling for an apology after a weekly newspaper claimed many of them were squandering the money they had received from the Catholic church.
The article in Sunday's Independent Weekly said the so-called gifts totalling about $2 million were given to parents whose children were abused by a bus driver and were spent on items such as swimming pools and holidays.
But Helen, whose son was a victim during his time at St Ann's Special School at suburban Marion, says the claims are ridiculous.
"Every parent who has received money in this way has been smeared by this malicious article and I think we deserve an apology," she said.
Parent advocate Karen Rogers agrees.
The Church says the payments were unsolicited gifts designed to help parents provide better care for their children.
On 12 September last year, former bus driver Brian Perkins was sentenced to 10 years and six months' jail with a six-year non-parole period after pleading guilty to five offences involving unlawful sexual conduct with three students from the school. Perkins was hired as a bus driver at St Ann's in 1986 and worked there until 1991, when he fled South Australia after police discovered evidence of his offending.
Parents defend spending sex abuse payout (ABC/Yahoo 15/11/04)
Parents defend spending sex abuse payout (ABC News 15/11/04)
Archbishop vows Church will learn from mistakes (CathNews 3/6/04)
Lies, lies, lies (The Advertiser 3/6/04)
Pedophile bus driver unchecked (The Advertiser 3/6/04)
Victims undecided over suing Catholic Church (ABC 2/6/04)
Adelaide archbishop welcomes paedophile's "appropriate" jail sentence (CathNews 13/9/03)
Church faces class action by parents for damages (5/8/03)
Parents threaten Catholic Church in South Australia (30/4/02)
Adelaide archbishop leads Rome abuse meeting (CathNews 31/5/04)
Archbishop leads war on sex abuse (Catholic Weekly 6/6/04)
Archdiocese of Adelaide
Gregory apologizes for missteps in sex abuse scandal (St Louis Post-Dispatch 15/11/04)
16 Nov 2004