Christian brother admits to 10 sex assaults on students

A Melbourne Christian Brother has admitted he sexually assaulted 10 students at a Catholic high school in Melbourne more than 30 years ago.

The Age reports that Peter John Toomey, then a teacher at Trinity Regional College in Brunswick, would order his victims, aged 11 and 12, to sit on his knee while he fondled them.

The County Court heard that Toomey would also watch his pupils change for swimming and sports classes, and two victims recalled his students being made to line up naked inspected on the basis they were "being checked for mud".

Toomey, now 56, of Brunswick, yesterday pleaded guilty to 10 counts of indecent assault in the 1970s. One victim regarded Toomey as "a cruel figure" who would strap the boys "for almost anything".

Crown prosecutor Marc Sargent said Toomey taught a variety of subjects at year 7 and year 8.

Toomey's defence lawyer, David Hallowes, said his client was in his early 20s at the time of offending. He said his client was remorseful and had entered a plea of guilty.

Mr Hallowes said Toomey, who has worked at a Christian Brother-run aged care facility in recent years, did not have any involvement with children and had undertaken a sexual rehabilitation program by his own volition. He said there was little risk of Toomey reoffending.

Judge Meryl Sexton extended Toomey's bail for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

Christian brother admits to 10 sex assaults on students (The Age 24/11/05)

Brazil abuser priest provides checklist for selecting victims (CathNews 23/11/05)
Irish Catholic leaders to face new abuse probe (CathNews 10/11/05)

24 Nov 2005