Accused Pedophiles Are Guilty Until Proven Innocent
'Teacher On Sex Counts' by Kay Dibben The Sunday Mail, 17 February, 2002

An example of the immediate presumption of guilt following the accusation of child sex abuse, no matter how respected the accused nor how old the charges.

A senior teacher at a Brisbane Catholic boys' college has been charged with sexual offences that allegedly occurred in NSW about 20 years ago.

The Marist College Ashgrove teacher was charged at Tweed Heads last week and granted bail to appear in court on March 4.

On Thursday, the school's headmaster, Brother Robert O'connor, sent a letter to more than 1000 students' parents telling them the teacher was facing sexual misconduct charges.

Brother Robert said the man, a religious brother, had been stood down and was "unlikely to return to his duties here in the foreseeable future". He said the man would contest the charges.

The parents were told the teacher would continue to live within the Marist Brothers community in Brisbane

"for some ongoing support and until the time of the initial hearing".

Students also were told about the charges.

It is believed the man has been charged by officers from the Sydney-based Child Protection Enforcement Agency. The offences allegedly occurred at a Sydney boarding school.

Marist Brothers spokesman Brother Alexis Turton said yesterday:

"We are always willing to hear from any past or present student with an issue or concern in respect of his time in our care."
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