Sunday, October 31, 2010

103 charges
Man faces 103 child sex charges in Newcastle court
21 Oct, 2010 04:00 AM
A former Anglican Church boys’ home board member responsible for providing ‘‘a caring environment for boys who had no place to live’’ appeared in Newcastle Local Court yesterday charged with 103 child sex offences, including procuring a boy for sex acts with a male.
James Michael Brown, 60, a former board member of St Alban’s Boys’ Home, Aberdare, said nothing as the court heard he had been charged with 35 fresh offences yesterday, in addition to 68 charges laid at Port Stephens in June.

Some of the offences are alleged to have occurred during his time at the home.

The fresh charges include allegedly biting a 13-year-old boy at Kurri Kurri while sexually assaulting him in the 1980s, and two counts of procuring the boy ‘‘to be a party to the commission of an act of gross indecency with a male person’’.

They also include a charge of using a sex aid during a sex act with a boy and attempting a homosexual act.

Solicitor Sally Rostron, for Mr Brown, told the court she had been served with the new charges only yesterday morning and had not had a chance to speak to her client about them.

The 103 charges between 1974 and 1996 relate to 13 boys aged 11 to 17.

They include 38 charges of homosexual intercourse or sexual intercourse without consent with children under 18, and more than 60 indecent assault charges.

The offences are alleged to have occurred at Kurri Kurri, Bathurst, Lemon Tree Passage and Boat Harbour.

Mr Brown did not enter pleas when he appeared yesterday before Newcastle magistrate Elaine Truscott.

The court was told one of his victims is living in America.

The matter was adjourned to December 22.

In a statement in August, Newcastle Anglican Bishop Brian Farran said Mr Brown worked for the diocese in the 1970s and early 1980s in various roles, including youth work and at the St Alban’s Home.

The diocese was co-operating fully with police on the matter and was ‘‘strongly committed to addressing the issue of current and historical child sexual abuse in the church’’, Bishop Farran said.

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