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Broken Rites Australia helps victims of church-related
A Catholic priest, Father David Edwin Rapson (born 30 July 1953), appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18 November 1992, charged with five incidents of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy at Salesian College, "Rupertswood", in Sunbury (in Melbourne's north-west), where Rapson was a vice-principal.
Rapson pleaded guilty. Next day, the Age newspaper published a report of this pre-sentence hearing (the newspaper gave Rapson's name incorrectly as David Edward Rapson).
At the time of the offences, Rapson was a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco relgious order, which operated the school.
The court was told that Fr Rapson was religious instruction co-ordinator at the time of the offences.
The prosecutor said the offences took place during 1987 while the victim was a boarder in a dormitory that was supervised by Rapson.
The prosecutor said the offences included occasions on which Rapson offered alcohol and cigarettes to the student to get him inside Rapson's room. On each occasion, Rapson touched the boy's genitals. The priest masturbated the boy three times.
The prosecutor said Rapson had seriously breached the trust that had been placed in him.
The prosecutor said that the victim had suffered greatly as a result of the sexual assaults and only revealed the abuse during counselling in early 1992.
The court was told that, at the time of this court case [i.e., 1992], Rapson was still a member of the religious order and was living at a Salesian property (Auxilium College at Lysterfield, in Melbourne's south-east) but he was no longer teaching.
The magistrate remanded David Rapson in custody until the sentencing date. At the sentence hearing, later in 1992, the magistrate imposed a two-year jail sentence on Rapson.
[According to a report in The Age on 24 July 2004, the Catholic Church authorities David Rapson removed David Rapson from the priesthood in 2004.]