Woman: Chaplain kissed me at age 17

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a school chaplain and teacher in the South-East when she was a secondary school student has told the High Court how the chaplain first kissed her after she turned 17.

“It was an intimate kiss on the mouth,” the woman told the court.

She said the chaplain brought her to his house after a trip to the cinema with other school children.

The woman, who has sued the former priest, the school where he was chaplain, and the local bishop, said the sexual element between them progressed and they had oral sex about 35 times.

The woman, on the third day of her legal action, said they had oral sex about 35 times including on a youth trip to Cologne, Germany, to see the pope. The woman said the night before the students and teachers hiked to the area outside Cologne where the pope said an early morning Mass they had oral sex.

She said they also had oral sex in the chaplain’s school office when she was half undressed; in his bedroom when they were both undressed; in his shower; the chaplain’s car; and in the school oratory. She told Mr Justice Robert Eagar it happened before the sixth year graduation Mass in a room behind the altar.

The woman’s counsel, Jack Fitzgerald, put it to her that the former priest would say none of it ever happened and that it is a fabrication.

The woman replied : “That is not true. I know this happened.”

She said that her parents did not know anything and that they held the chaplain in high regard.

“I lied about who I was going to meet, where I was going ,” she said.

The now 28-year-old woman has sued alleging that, between 2004 and 2007, she was repeatedly and wrongfully physically and sexually assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually abused, and subjected to sexualised behaviour by the then Catholic chaplain and teacher in her secondary school.

She has sued the priest, as well as the school in the South-East and the local bishop. They have denied the claims. The school contends it is not vicariously liable for any alleged actions of the priest and contends the diocesan bishop is liable. The woman is also seeking aggravated damages against the former priest. The former priest has denied all claims.

In court yesterday, the woman said the chaplain had her number in his phone under a different name and she had his number in her phone, also under a different name.

The case before Mr Justice Eagar continues today.


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