Anglican exarch sentenced to 8 years in prison for child abuse in Australia

An Australian court today sentenced former Anglican mayor Graeme Lawrence, once one of the most influential figures of that church in the country, to eight years in prison for raping a child under 15 in 1991.

The 77-year-old ex-secretary, who in July was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault, will remain incarcerated until at least April 2024, when he may request parole, according to Judge Tim Gartelmann's ruling obtained by Efe.

Lawrence, dean of the Anglican church in the city of Newcastle between 1984 and 2008, seduced his victim and took her to his private residence, next to Christ Church Cathedral, after a concert by the youth orchestra.

After showing his victim photos of naked children, the exdecano undressed him and forced him to rest on his hands and knees, and after touching his genitals he penetrated him anally, according to the ruling.

According to the magistrate, Lawrence "abused his position of trust as a church leader to commit these crimes," and also "abused the victim's confidence by inviting him with pretexts to engage in sexual activity with him and again when he dissuaded the victim so he wouldn't report him. "

The judge said Lawrence told the victim when he was running away: "Don't bother telling anyone. You're just a child and I, the dean. No one will believe you."

The victim, Ben Giggins, who decided to lift the suppression order to his identity that applies to all victims of sexual abuse, did not talk about the rape until years later when he told him what happened to his wife in 2016.

"(The rape) has not been forgotten, but a chapter has been closed and now we can (he and his family) move on," Giggins told reporters after leaving the court.

Lawrence, who was stripped of the Order of Australia he received in 1998 for his services in Newcastle and separated from the Anglican Church in 2012, was arrested three years ago by the Police after the case was referred by the Royal Commission that investigated the sexual abuse of minors in Australia.

The exdecano is the second highest religious office convicted of pedophilia in Australia after Cardinal George Pell.

The ex-Vatican Vatican was sentenced in March to six years in prison for five counts of sexual abuse of minors, including one for oral penetration, committed against two boys in the St Patrick's Cathedral choir, in Melbourne, the years 1996 and 1997 .

Sexual abuse of minors within the Anglican church is included in Case 42 of the Royal Commission, which presented its final report in December 2017 with more than 400 recommendations before events that it described as a "national tragedy."

. (tagsToTranslate) Exarch (t) Anglican (t) condemned (t) pederasty (t) Australia

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