Principal knew about alleged sex abuse 35 years before teacher was convicted

child abuse reports

The Marist College in Burnie, Tasmania, is under fire again with new sexual abuse allegations. According to a letter obtained by the ABC, the principal and his boss knew teacher Father Greg Ferguson was abusing students as early as 1971.

The letter was written by the principal, Father Bernard Hosie, to his boss, Father Peter Guiren. He wanted to know whether Ferguson needed to be moved from the school.

“I have reports of about 8 boys that Greg Ferguson (they claim) has been fooling around within his room… it would be very easy to move him if it had to be done overnight,” Father Hosie wrote.

“I am, of course, frightened of a court case. It would need only one parent to lay charges,” Father Hosie wrote.

Former student, Andy Murray, was sixteen when he witnessed three sixth graders being abused by Ferguson.

“I knocked on the door, the door opened, and I was confronted with three young students, they would have been sixth grade, being chased around a room by Father Greg Ferguson,” Andy said.

He was erect, he had no underpants on.”

When Andy told Father Hosie, he was slammed against a wall and told to keep his mouth shut.

Ferguson was convicted of historical child abuse involving two underage boys in 2007. Father Guiren also faced multiple allegations of abuse which have been brought to light in 2019.

Survivors of church abuse reveal “mafia style” intimidation tactics

In 1976, Peter Creigh told Archbishop Phillip Wilson twice about the abuse he experienced at the hands of paedophile priest, James Fletcher.

In 2017, Peter became a key witness in the case against the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide. Around this time, Peter was approached by a stranger wearing dark wraparound sunglasses at an open house he was hosting in Lake Macquarie.

I know who you are Mr Creigh. You’re involved in the court case against Archbishop Wilson,” the stranger said to Peter.

I’m a concerned keeper of the faith and it would be in your best interest to not give evidence at the upcoming trial.”

On another occasion, a black motorbike pulled up behind Peter and the rider threatened him again.

“His words were, ‘Mr Creigh, we meet again. It appears you’re not taking us seriously’ and then he said I should not proceed any further with giving evidence at the upcoming trial,” Peter told 7:30.

In March 2018, Peter was approached again – after he had already given evidence in the trial. The man claimed he was there to protect the church and the Archbishop.

We know where you live, we know where you work.”

We want you to retract your evidence.”

The experience has forced Peter to wonder whether other victims have experienced the same intimidation tactics.

Father Glen Walsh, for example, took his own life during the trial and there were reports he was “petrified” to testify against the Archbishop.

YouTube star Austin Jones jailed for coercing minors into sending sexually explicit videos 

Singer and YouTube star, Austin Jones, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for convincing two underage girls to send sexually explicit videos of themselves.

Based in Illinois, Jones has a large teenage following on YouTube.

Between 2016 and 2017, Jones contacted more than 30 girls aged 14 to 15 on Facebook and via Apple iMessage. During this time, Jones convinced two fans to expose their genitals on camera and send him the videos on Facebook.

He also gave them “lines” to recite and instructed them on how to pose.

Prosecutors said Jones “preyed on their youth, their vulnerabilities and most glaringly, their adoration of him”.

Jones pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in February 2017.

More and more offenders are being caught out. At Kelso Lawyers, we aim to help bring these men and women to justice.

Contact Kelso Lawyers if you believe you have been abused by an institution. We can help achieve compensation for your trauma. 

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Image: Canberra Times

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