Ex-priest granted bail on indecent assault charges

A former Victorian priest has been granted conditional bail after appearing in a Cairns court over allegations he sexually assaulted two altar boys in Victoria 15 years ago.

ABC Victoria and The Australian report that Paul David Ryan, 58, is facing 11 indecent assault charges involving the 16-year-old altar boys following an eight-month police investigation.

Dr Ryan, who has a theology degree from the US, was ordained in 1976 before quitting the priesthood in 1993.

He moved to Cairns about five years ago and had worked for several years for the Cape York district health council, a government body based at Weipa.

According to the Herald Sun, Dr Ryan was working as a health officer for the Apunipima Aboriginal community in far north Queensland until he resigned early this year.

Warrnambool detectives in south-west Victoria did not oppose bail when he appeared in court.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and report weekly to Cairns police until his appearance in the Victorian court in July.

He defended himself outside the Cairns courthouse, saying he was "innocent until proven guilty".

Former priest granted bail on indecent assault charges (ABC Victoria 20/4/06)
Former priest arrested on sex charges (The Australian/news.com.au 20/4/06)
Priest on sex charge (Herald Sun 20/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Towards Healing (Australian Catholic Bishps Conference, Professional Standards Committee)

Marist apology to victims in abuse case (CathNews 28/3/06)

Diocese admits it failed victim of abuse (Irish Independent 20/4/06)
Priest tried over nun's death (The Age/Australian Associated Press 17/4/06)
Church reports decline in sex abuse allegations (The Tablet 8/4/06)
'Fraternal correction' urged for bishops who refused sex abuse audits (Catholic News Service 3/4/06)

21 Apr 2006