Image source: abc.net.au
Catholic Brother Martin Harmata becomes eligible for parole in January 2017 after serving three and a half years in prison on several counts of sexually abusing children at Patrician Brothers’ College in Blacktown during the 1980s.
Harmata was stood down from his teaching position in 2012 after working at the institution for more than 30 years.
He was accused of rubbing one boy on the upper thigh, and also made the boy touch his penis.
Harmata was aged 60 when convicted and pleaded guilty to all charges laid against him.
He taught science and mathematics at the school and was known as an enthusiastic outdoorsman. He is said to have befriended many local families and gained their trust to take their sons away on school camps.
Detectives arrested Harmata in 2012 at a beachside town on NSW’s north coast for six offences relating to the assault of two boys, aged 12 and 13 at the time.
Detectives subsequently interviewed a third victim, and Harmata eventually pleaded guilty to eight child-sex offences in 2013 at Sydney’s Parramatta District Court.
His sentence was reduced by 25 per cent as a reward for his early plea.