Category Archives: Father Michael Aulsebrook
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Accused priest like the devil, says man who was allegedly drugged and raped at school
A MAN who was allegedly drugged then raped by a former priest at a Catholic boys’ school has described his attacker as “like the devil”.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today he was 12 years old when he was raped by former Salesian priest David Rapson.
The man said the abuse had led to a life-time problem with drug and alcohol abuse and depression.
Rapson, 59, is charged with abusing seven boys between 1973 and 1990 at various schools including Salesian College Rupertswood, in Sunbury.
The former college vice-principal is charged with one count each of rape and gross indecency and a string of indecent assault charges against seven complainants.
In documents tendered to the court today an alleged victim said Rapson attacked him in his office in 1988.
The man, who was a boarder at the college, said Rapson had invited him to his office after “lights out” to play computer games.
He said after about 20 minutes he gave him a lemonade that made him a “little bit dizzy”.
“I must have passed out or fallen asleep. When I woke up I was on the floor in the foetal position right next to the computer desk and felt a large amount of pain,” he said.
“Father Rapson was on his hands and knees lying over me.
“I tried to move but I couldn’t because he was on top of me and he was a big man.”
The man said Rapson raped him before he got up and fled the office.
“”He yelled at me in a voice like the devil and said “Come back”. I was too scared and just ran all the way back to my dormitory.”
The man said he was later attacked by a colleague of Rapson’s who had also given him a lemonade that made him pass out while playing a computer game.
“I woke on the floor next to the desk again in the foetal position and felt the same pain as I did when Fr Rapson abused me.”
He said after the abuse the brother told him “Get out of my sight, you disgust me”.
Earlier, Rapson’s lawyer Brad Newton asked Magistrate Gregory McNamara to suppress the remainder of the committal hearing.
Mr Newton cited reports in the Herald Sun and other print and TV media outlets he said would prejudice any future trial his client could face.
He previously told the court the announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard of a Royal Commission into sexual abuse against children in religious institutions meant Rapson would be unable to get a fair trial.
But Mr McNamara said the high level of public interest in the case was usual for such serious matters.
And he said it was in the public interest for the matter to be reported by the media.
Mr McNamara said there would be enough time between the current hearing and any future trial for a jury not to be prejudiced by current reports.
The Herald Sun revealed last year up to seven priests and brothers at the college have been linked to secret payouts to students who alleged they were abused between the 1960s and the 1990s.
Victims of the men at the centre of the scandal accused the Salesian priests of a 40-year cover-up.
In documents tendered at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today an alleged victim, who cannot be named, said he was abused by Rapson while boarding at the college in the late 1977.
The man alleged he had been sent to the school infirmary with several other boys and forced to drink Milo that “tasted really strange and a bit acrid”.
The man said he fell asleep soon after drinking the drink and woke later “feeling a bit groggy” and was later molested by Rapson.
He said during the evening another teacher, Father Frank Klep, came into the infirmary and asked Rapson what he was doing.
“You know what we do here,” Rapson allegedly replied.
“God made us this way and it’s his fault. You’re one to talk, you’re the same as me,” he allegedly said.
The court heard Klep told Rapson he had been “trying to resist it” and urged Rapson to do the same.
Klep, who was a one-time principal at the school, was later convicted of abusing students.
He was already a convicted child molester and wanted on more charges in Australia when, in 1998, the Salesians assigned him to a college in Samoa, where he was photographed dispensing lollies to children after Mass.
Another alleged victim accused Rapson of abusing him just weeks after he started at the college.
He said the incident came in his second week as a boarder at the college during a medical exam performed by Rapson.
“We were told not to laugh and if we did it would prove we liked males,” he said.
“We were told it was a medical examination and we were told to pull our pants down to our knees.”
The man said in his police statement he feared if he did not comply with the priest’s demands he would be punished with physical violence.
“Rapson walked up in front of me and grabbed hold of my penis and lifted it up. He then fondled my testicles and had a feel for about a minute.”
The court heard some of the allegations made to police about Rapson dated to 2000.
“It’s going to be hard enough for this accused man to get a fair trial in the country, let alone the state,” he said.
In 2004, the Australian chapter of the Salesians was engulfed in global scandal after it was alleged local superiors had moved priests accused of sexual assaults across international and state borders to evade authorities.
Police files in relation to three other former Salesians, Fr Julian Fox, Fr Frank Klep and Fr Michael Aulsebrook, have been subpoenaed.
All three men rose to senior positions at the college.
Aulsebrook has also been convicted of sex offences against students.
Several other priests remain overseas amid claims they were sent there to evade authorities.
Fr Julian Fox now lives at the Salesian headquarters in Rome, near the Vatican, and heads the order’s communications division.
One former Salesian College teacher, Fr Jack Ayers, was moved to Samoa with convicted colleague Fr Frank Klep in 1998.
It had been alleged Ayers abused boys during the 1960s and 1970s.
It is believed Ayers died earlier this year, with victims saying he will now never be brought to justice.
The committal hearing continues.
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