Marist Bro behind bars awaiting sentence

PROLIFIC paedophile offender Marist Brother Gerard McNamara is finally behind bars after being remanded in custody.

Last month in the County Court of Victoria, the 80-year-old pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault on males under the age of 16.

The former sports master admitted to molesting five young boys while giving them “sports massages”, using Dencorub to assault his victims between 1970 and 1975 at St Paul’s Catholic College in Traralgon.

Judge Duncan Allen condemned the “appalling culture that existed” at Marist schools of the era.

He extended McNamara’s bail and adjourned the matter for further plea on July 25 where he ruled that it was appropriate he was remanded in custody.

McNamara, who taught at St Patrick’s College in Sale from 1960 to 1964, has been the subject of four separate criminal actions by Victorian Police.

He has previously appealed his three-month jail sentence handed down earlier this year.

That appeal decision has yet to be finalised.

St Pat’s Sale and Catholic College Sale group action coordinator ‘Michael’ said since the Gippsland Times’ publication of articles about historical child sex abuse at the schools, an additional 30 new victims had come forward, in addition to the original 31 victims that had previously approached police.

He said victims were “finally seeing justice done” and were delighted with the news that McNamara would remain behind bars until his final sentencing hearing on September 3, as well as the decision on his appeal.

“There’s a wonderful sense of justice in seeing this criminal remanded in custody before his final sentencing hearing in early September” Michael said.

“McNamara repeatedly abused his positions of authority to undertake his pure acts of evil against young boys over many, many years.

“His obsession with Dencorub was well known among the students.

“McNamara has destroyed dozens and dozens of young boys’ lives,” he said.

“It’s appalling.”

Michael described his crimes were an “enormous disgrace” to the Marist Brothers in Australia.

“Behind bars is clearly where this serial offender belongs,” he said.

Victims can email Michael, a fellow child sex abuse victim confidentially for help or assistance at help.me@outlook.com.au, or by contacting the group action specialist lawyers, Rightside Legal’s Laird MacDonald on 9909 1144 or 0412 128 280 or emailing lmacdonald@rightsidelegal.com.au or Grace Wilson on 9909 1141 or 0400 584 856 , or email gwilson@rightsidelegal.com.au

To assist local victims, Rightside Legal continues to visit the Latrobe Valley each week to meet with victims to pursue compensation.

People with information about child sexual abuse in an institutional context can also email the SANO Task Force sanotaskforce@police.vic. gov.au or phone the SANO Task Force on 1800 110 007.

To report a child at immediate risk or danger, phone 000 or a local police station. Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) is a not- for-profit organisation working to increase public awareness of the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on men in their adult lives. For more information about SAMSN, visit www.samsn.org.au, which also has links to other related organisations. Lifeline (phone 13 11 14)and Beyondblue (1300 224 636) also offer support.