Former Illawarra priest charged with indecent assault

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Illawarra Mercury (Australia)

March 10, 2015, 11 a.m.

A former Holy Spirit College priest has been arrested after claims of abuse in the 1980s.

Father Patrick Kervin, 58, was arrested in Sydney on Monday afternoon and charged with one count of indecent assault.

Police allege the Catholic priest assaulted a 15-year-old boy while he was a chaplain at the Bellambi school in mid-1988.

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong director of schools Peter Turner said on Tuesday he was ‘‘deeply saddened’’ to hear of an alleged historical assault in one of the region’s Catholic schools.

‘‘The Catholic Education Office has been co-operating fully with the police and will continue to assist as needed to help bring this matter to a just resolution,’’ Mr Turner said.

‘‘I offer my sincere apology to those who have suffered abuse by any person who was associated with Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong.’’

He said the office, diocese and Catholic schools were committed to protecting children and to addressing any concerns or allegations brought forward.

Mr Turner said the diocese has a ‘‘rigorous process’’ in place for dealing with complaints of abuse and strongly urged any person with a complaint to approach the appropriate authority.

He noted that Fr Kervin was not a priest or resident of the Diocese of Wollongong.

Fr Kervin, commonly known within the church as Fr Pat, celebrated 25 years of Marist priesthood in September, 2010.

Since entering the seminary he has taught at Lismore’s Woodlawn College and the Marist Regional College in Burnie, Tasmania, where he was principal for two years.

He later spent time in Rome and Washington before being appointed to St Patrick’s Church Hill in Sydney.

Shoalhaven police began investigating the Sydney-based priest in 2011, following a complaint.

The man was arrested and charged at Harbourside police station, before being granted conditional bail to appear at Port Kembla Local Court on March 25.

1 Response to Former Illawarra priest charged with indecent assault

  1. Sylvia says:

    “… police began investigating the Sydney-based priest in 2011, following a complaint.”

    Can you believe it? The compliant was filed over three years ago, and charges just laid now?! That’s a long long time for the complainant to wait, and a long long time for police to investigate.

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