Category Archives: Christian Brother John Vincent Roberts

Former Wollongong Catholic Brother pleads guilty

Former Wollongong Catholic Brother pleads guilty

15 Jun 2016, 5:30 p.m.

From the Link:

A former Catholic Brother has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a young male student at Edmund Rice College in the late 1980s.

John Vincent Roberts was a teacher at the single-sex school when he repeatedly molested and raped the 12-year-old boy while on school grounds.

Roberts, now aged 73 and living in Sydney, was arrested after voluntarily attending Redfern Police Station on December 14 at the request of investigating officers.

He was charged with 21 offences in total, including multiple counts of homosexual intercourse (teacher of pupil) and indecent assault where the victim was under his authority.

In Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday, Roberts entered pleas to 11 of the charges.

He will be sentenced in Wollongong District Court on August 11.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Christian Brothers Oceania expressed ‘’profound sorrow and unreserved apology after a Brother pleaded guilty to charges of historic child sexual abuse in Wollongong today’’.

‘’The crimes that have been admitted to represent a deplorable betrayal of trust,’’ the statement said.

‘’A child in our care had the right to expect every protection from this person and they were tragically let down. To them we extend without reservation our sincerest apology for what has happened.’’

The Christian Brothers would comment ‘’more fully’’ once the judicial process including sentencing had been completed.

‘’We urge any person who has any evidence of criminal conduct to contact the police so that the appropriate investigation can be undertaken.’’

‘’Whilst the past cannot be undone, the Christian Brothers are committed to addressing the effects of past abuse through acknowledgment of the suffering that those who have been abused endure and by providing practical assistance to help heal lives.’’

Police charge sheets presented in court at an earlier hearing claim Roberts’ carried out several acts of indecency upon the child.

Police alleged Roberts’ sexual attention towards the boy escalated into rape on several occasions.

The incidents were not reported to police at the time, however officers became aware of the accusations after they were aired last year during the Royal Commission hearings into institutional child sexual abuse.