“Catholic priest John Casey found not guilty of 16 child abuse charges” & related articles

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ABC News (Australia)

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Photo: John Casey was a police chaplain and involved in a school up until his arrest. (Supplied)

Catholic priest and former police chaplain John Patrick Casey has been found not guilty of 16 charges relating to the sexual abuse of children in northern New South Wales in the mid 1980s.

A jury did not deliver a verdict on 11 other charges relating to the same offences.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has until September 21 to decide if those matters will be pursued.

Casey was accused of molesting three boys on four separate occasions when each were staying with him at the Mallanganee Presbytery, west of Casino.

The 68-year-old was a police chaplain up until the day of his arrest in 2015 and was also involved in the Mary Help of Christians Primary School in his capacity as Parish Priest at Mary Help Christians Catholic Church in Sawtell.

He was immediately stood down from the school when the allegations came to light.

On the same night of the July 2015 arrest, he was due to read a homily at a commemorative service for police senior constables Robert Spears and Peter Addison, who were killed in the line of duty at Crescent Head 20 years ago.

Casey pleaded not guilty to 27 offences, relating to 18 allegations of child sexual abuse.

Alleged victims took decades to come forward

The alleged victims, two of them brothers, said the offences happened in the 1980s in the Lismore Diocese, but were not reported to police until 2015.

Photo: Father John Casey (centre) pleaded not guilty to all charges. (ABC: Joanne Shoebridge.)

At the end of the trial, Judge Jennifer English told the jury of eight men and four women that almost 30 years had lapsed between the time of the alleged offences and when formal complaints were made to police.

“It is important that you appreciate fully the effect of the delay on the ability of the accused to defend himself,” she said.

“The delay means that evidence relied on by the crown cannot be as fully tested as it may otherwise have been.

“Had the accused learned of the accusations earlier … he may have been able to find witnesses or contradictory evidence to support his case.

“[But] the delay does not necessarily indicate that the evidence is false.”

The crown prosecutor had earlier urged the jury to use common sense when considering what he described as a compelling case of misconduct.

“For 30 years there has been a veil of silence,” he said.

“That lifted when [the complainants] spoke to you.

“The crown contends that Mr Casey has a capacity to identify artistic beauty in a beautiful object, but in respect to young boys that is a thing he is prepared to act on in a criminal manner.”

Defence barrister Charles Waterstreet refuted those allegations, telling the jury not to be “swept up by the current whims of hysteria” surrounding the issue.

“There is a temptation in everyone to act as an avenging angel,” he said.

“It is a truism that children lie, but so do inner children – sometimes not even deliberately.”

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Lismore jury considers verdict in trial of Catholic priest on child sexual abuse charges

Photo: Father John Casey (C) leaves the Lismore District Court. (ABC: Joanne Shoebridge)

A jury in Lismore has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a Catholic priest accused of child sexual abuse offences.

John Patrick Casey had been a police chaplain for two decades before he was arrested in July last year and charged with 27 counts relating to 18 allegations of child sexual abuse.

The 68-year-old is accused of molesting three boys on four separate occasions when each was staying with him at the Mallanganee Presbytery, west of Casino in northern New South Wales, in the mid 1980s.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Lismore District Court.

Judge Jennifer English told the jury of eight men and four women that almost 30 years had lapsed between the time of the alleged offences and when formal complaints were made to police.

“It is important that you appreciate fully the effect of the delay on the ability of the accused to defend himself,” she said.

“The delay means that evidence relied on by the Crown cannot be as fully tested as it may otherwise have been.

“Had the accused learned of the accusations earlier … he may have been able to find witnesses or contradictory evidence to support his case.

“[But] the delay does not necessarily indicate that the evidence is false.”

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Child sex victim ‘jumped on bandwagon’: Priest’s barrister

The Northern Star

8th Aug 2016 12:11 PM

John Patrick Casey outside Lismore Court.John Patrick Casey outside Lismore Court.Leah Whit

THE trial of Lismore Diocese Catholic priest John Patrick Casey over allegations of historical child sexual abuse and rape is winding up at Lismore District Court.

Casey has attracted a full gallery of supporters since the trial began on July 12.

His barrister, Charles Waterstreet, proved himself the master of the metaphor in his statement to the jury, which focused on the inconsistencies of the age of the younger of the brothers.

The younger brother claimed the sexual abuse took place when he was 9, but documents clearly showed the boys only met Father Casey at the Bonalbo Show when he was 12.

“When his older brother got cracking on his statement then he joined the stampede because he had to,” Mr Waterstreet said.

“His family had let him down and it was the only way to get the family back.

“He jumped on a bandwagon he shouldn’t be on.”

Mr Waterstreet painted a picture of the household of the brothers as “terror-filled”.

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Father of two victims gives evidence at Lismore priest trial

QTThe Queensland Times

21st July 2016 5:30 AM

IT WAS seeing Father John Casey during a broadcast of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes’ funeral in 2014 that prompted a second victim to finally come forward and join his younger brother in making formal allegations of child sexual abuse against the Lismore priest.

The father of the two brothers was in the witness stand at Casey’s trial in Lismore District Court yesterday, where he was cross-examined by defence barrister Charles Waterstreet.

Casey is facing 27 charges relating to the historical rape, sexual assault and indecent assault of three young boys in Mallanganee in the 1980s.

All but one charge relates to incidents that allegedly involved the two brothers.

The court heard the third victim, who is the youngest of the three complainants and was between nine and 10 years old when the assaults occurred, told his father in 2005 he was sexually assaulted by Casey as a child.

The following day, January 21, the father rang the Lismore Catholic Diocese about the allegations.

Defence put it to the witness he told the Diocese a catholic priest had raped his sons.

“I don’t remember using those terms,” the witness said. “I would have been relaying what [my youngest son] had told me.

“If he had described it that way, that’s how I would have described it.”

When asked how he knew what had happened to both boys after only speaking to one, the witness said he would have been relying on what his youngest son had told him.

The witness said once he found out his older son, the second victim, didn’t want to pursue the allegations, he dropped the matter as he thought both brothers needed to stand together.

“My recollection is that [the older brother], in his usual way, did not want to deal with it,” he said.

“My belief was, if it went further, whoever was defending John (Casey) would have a field day of the difference between the two boys.”

The victims’ father said he first met Casey in 1985 while living with his family in Bonalbo.

When asked about his relationship with Casey, the witness said he considered the priest a good enough friend “for me to leave my two boys in his care.”

The court heard the witness contacted the Lismore Dioceses again in December 2014 when his older son asked him to ‘do something’ about the historical sexual assaults after seeing Casey at a broadcast of Phillip Hughes’ funeral and being “stirred up” by it.

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Alleged victim gives evidence in John Patrick Casey trial

The Coffs Coast Advocate

THE first alleged victim in the historical sexual assault trial against Catholic priest John Patrick Casey has given evidence in a closed session of the Lismore District Court.

Casey has been charged with 27 counts of sexual assault, indecent assault and rape of three boys under the age of 16 said to have occurred in the 1980s.

The trial will cover 18 separate incidents.

Due to a change in law when the majority of the alleged offences occurred (from June 10, 1985 to May 30, 1987) a number of the charges have been paired to address the change in law.

The first alleged victim, now in his 40s, was the third witness to be called to provide evidence in the trial on Tuesday.

The court was closed to the public, which included the media and Casey’s 15 supporters, at 12.15pm.

In his opening address on Monday, the crown prosecutor said his case would focus on the testament of three victims to which the charges relate.

He told the jury the first victim would likely talk about an incident that he said occurred at the Mallanganee Presbytery between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1985.

Defence barrister Charles Waterstreet told the jury in his opening address that Casey would plead not guilty to all the charges.

The first witness to give evidence was the first alleged victim’s aunt.

The second witness was the officer in charge of the investigation, a detective senior constable attached to the Casino police station.

A witness who was called to the stand on Thursday gave evidence on the character John Patrick Casey.

He told the court that he and a close childhood friend – the first alleged victim’s cousin – stayed with Casey during school holidays in 1986 when he was about 14.

The witness said Casey offered them alcohol two or three times during the stay at dinner.

The officer in charge of the investigation was called back as a witness for video evidence.

The jury was shown footage of the funeral service for the first victim’s cousin, where Casey addressed the congregation and spoke fondly of the boys (the witness, the first victim, and the first victim’s cousin).

“We had great times,” he said in the video.

“I felt like a real father. They were like the sons I never had.”

Casey said when the boys left, the house felt empty.

“I questioned the whole thing church has about celibacy. Until I saw a child having a tantrum… then I said, ‘thank you for celibacy, Jesus’.”

The court was shown two police walk-through videos, filmed last year, of the Mallanganee property where the historical crimes are alleged to have occurred.

At 11am, the court was closed. The trial continues.

8 Responses to “Catholic priest John Casey found not guilty of 16 child abuse charges” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    Judge Jennifer English told the jury of eight men and four women that almost 30 years had lapsed between the time of the alleged offences and when formal complaints were made to police.

    “It is important that you appreciate fully the effect of the delay on the ability of the accused to defend himself,” she said.

    “The delay means that evidence relied on by the crown cannot be as fully tested as it may otherwise have been.

    “Had the accused learned of the accusations earlier … he may have been able to find witnesses or contradictory evidence to support his case.

    “[But] the delay does not necessarily indicate that the evidence is false.”

    Is it just me or do others have trouble with the judge’s comments to jurors? It seems to me the judge’s message to jurors is that the delay in reporting is a negative strike against the “alleged” victims and will influence the jurors accordingly?

    And this from a female judge? Surely she knows that stereo-typically the large majority of victims- particularly male – of clerical childhood sexual abuse remain silenced by fear and shame and do NOT report or disclose for decades on end.

    A jury did not deliver a verdict on 11 other charges relating to the same offences.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions has until September 21 to decide if those matters will be pursued.

    I hope and pray that those other charges will be pursued.

  2. jg says:

    “Catholic priest and former police chaplain John Patrick Casey”

    That brief quote from the first line all but explain the outcome of this trial along with the “female” judges directions. She doesn’t understand much about the trauma associated with the assaults.
    Lets face it, a Jury with that kind of direction, with their own biases, their own “religion” and having to possibly decide negatively against two powerful authorities, a Police “associate” and God’s at the same time…
    The evidence had little to do with it.
    The association with Police, the befriending of Police is a similar tactic used by so many who were great “family friends” and used that rapport to abuse the children. In this case it seems Casey had covered all possible angles…
    This reminds me of another “Chaplin”(as in clown) with the same m.o., who was friends with the Police, the families and a very active member of society. He was convicted in Yarmouth, N.S., Canada : Albert Leblanc who can be found in the accused section of this site.
    It is never ending.

  3. Geenda says:

    What a pile of rubbish! Yep those boys made this up…not bloody likely and the wolf gets away with it… God bless them for having the courage to come forward.

  4. Larry Green says:

    It’s one thing for a judge to instruct the jury, but if I were a member of this jury, it would sound to me that the judge is suggesting we forget about deliberating. Too much time has elapsed, a guilty verdict would be unfair. What’s the point of a trial by jury when a judge makes leading comments like these?

  5. Patrick Neville says:

    What if he is innocent ? What if these lads misconstrued or constructed their stories for monetary gain ? or were mixed up kids from an unfortunate upbringing?. It would appear that in a lot of other cases there are many many victims over a long period of time. Casey has had no other “victims” and presumably plenty of “opportunities”. The fact that the first 16 charges were dismissed means maybe the evidence wasn’t as strong as it should have been? or the bloke is innocent ? There may be a verdict today.

  6. Mike Mc says:

    Hard to fathom. Hope the other charges go to trial.

  7. Truth Search says:

    Updated information from ECHO NETDAILY headline is – “Lismore pedophile priest sentenced” link is below. “John Patrick Casey has been sentenced to four years and 10 months. The jury found him GUILTY of sexual assault (category three) of a person under the age of 16 years, sexual assault (category four), indecent act with a person under 16.”

    link:
    https://www.echo.net.au/2018/10/lismore-pedophile-priest-sentenced/

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