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Lismore priest faces retrial over child sex charges

IN COURT: Former priest John Patrick Casey.
IN COURT: Former priest John Patrick Casey. Leah White

AFTER an emotionally-charged four-week trial which left a jury in deadlock, Catholic Priest Father John Casey will again face trial over the alleged sexual abuse of three boys nearly 30 years ago.

ON August 12, Lismore Diocese Catholic Priest, John Patrick Casey, was found not guilty of 16 charges, but the jury could not make a decision on the remaining 11 counts relating to child sex offences.

Yesterday at Lismore District Court, 14 charges for retrial were listed, including three charges of homosexual intercourse with a male between the ages of 10 and 18 years and three charge with a male under the age of 10 years. There are also five charge of indecent assault with a person under 16 as well as a three charges of sexual assault with a person under 16.

This matter is listed for mention on September 30 at the District Court at Sydney Downing Centre.

Father John Casey's bail is to continue and he is excused from attending on the next mention.

The Crown estimates the retrial will take two weeks. Father Casey's defence team estimates it will take four weeks. The matter has been transferred to Sydney.

As with the original trial, there is a suppression order on the names of the complainants. This time, the name of the Crown's tendency witness will also be suppressed.

In the original trial, Father Casey was represented by high-profile barrister Charles Waterstreet.

Over the four week trial the jury heard evidence of three victims, including two brothers, who were all under the age of 16 when they said the sexual assaults and rapes occurred in the 1980s.

In the original trial Mr Waterstreet defended the sexual abuse allegations of one of the brothers as the 'reconstruction of tortured memories'.

The defence maintained that the alleged escalating incidents of sexual abuse which included fondling, oral and anal sex against one of the boys in 1985 were actually the reconstructions of the heinous abuse he experienced from his own brother who was eight years older.

In the original case Casey has pleaded not guilty to all 27 charges relating to 18 individual alleged events, which included sexual assault act of indecency on a person under 16 years of age and homosexual intercourse with a male under 10.

Topics:  john casey, priest, sex abuse charges, trial


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