Between 1983 and 1987, the Tasmanian Department of Education transferred paedophile teacher Anthony LeClerc between four separate schools in just four years. A former priest who moved to Tasmania in the late 1960s, rumours about LeClerc were widespread in the North West community where he taught, yet the Department did nothing to protect students.
By 1983, senior Education Department officials were aware of allegations, including taking students to a pool for naked swimming, taking photos of students showering and then displaying the photos in class.
There were further allegations that included sitting children on his lap and kissing them, along with serious sexual assaults. LeClerc admitted to the swimming pool incident but, instead of being sacked, was merely transferred to a teaching position at a different school.
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LeClerc was transferred again following fresh concerns at the end of 1985, and just seven months later, a third transfer was authorised after the Department heard allegations he had committed a serious sexual assault during an anatomy lesson.
In January 1987, LeClerc was moved to a fourth school, this time in a non-teaching role. By this time, his reputation was widespread, yet the Department continued to try and find him positions.
A fifth transfer had to be cancelled in 1988 because the school involved was aware of LeClerc’s reputation and fought strongly against the appointment. Despite receiving an investigatory report that recommended LeClerc resign or be dismissed, the Department continued to try and find LeClerc employment.
Eventually, he was placed at Hobart Technical College, where he continued as a paid employee of the Education Department until 1993. Kelso Lawyers has written extensively about similar cover-ups in Tasmanian Education, including the specific cases of Darrel George Harington and David Henty and a decades-long culture of shielding known sexual abusers.
The law finally caught up with LeClerc in 2015, when he was convicted of molesting 14 children between 1973 and 1983 and sentenced to six years in jail. Some victims were abused in his office, some at Scouts activities, while others were lured into a shed on school property.
If you were abused in a Tasmanian school, we want to hear from you. We will fight for you. Click here to share your story, or call us on (02) 4907 4200.
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