Child Sex Abuse and the Crimes Act

25 July 2012

Senior Lecturer, Miiko Kumar comments on calls for police in New South Wales to open an investigation into three senior priests of the Catholic Church who failed to inform police of a priest's apparent admission of child sex abuse.

The ABC's Four Corners program revealed a priest known as Father F met with three church leaders and admitted in that meeting to serious criminal behaviour involving altar boys in Moree and Parramatta dating back to the 1980s.

In an interview with ABC News, Miiko Kumar, who worked as a police prosecutor for four years, believes a crime was committed.

"I think it does constitute a crime under the relevant section of the Crimes Act," she says.

"For a person to commit an offence of concealing a crime, that person has to have information which might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of an offender or the prosecution of an offender or the conviction of an offender."

Ms Kumar says she believes police would have investigated a claim of child sex abuse, even if victims were not named.

"That is very serious information, revealing a very serious criminal offence, and it would be of material assistance to the police in being able to apprehend Father F and investigate those matters," she said.

"Now the section doesn't require that specific information be given as to names. I mean, that's a matter for the police to go and investigate."

View the entire article - Priest contradicts church on abuse claims - ABC News

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