Sex convictions against Vic priest quashed

Retrial ordered

A former Victorian Catholic priest will face a retrial after his convictions for child sexual abuse were quashed, reports the ABC.

The priest, aged 61, David Rapson, was jailed last year for 13 years for the abuse of eight boys at two Catholic colleges between the 1970s and 1990.

But the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed those convictions yesterday and ordered him to be released on bail. Rapson will now face fresh trials in the Victorian County Court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) conceded there had been a miscarriage of justice in Rapson's trial and that the charges should have been heard in separate trials.

There were eight complainants heard in a single trial, but the DPP has now acknowledged that significant parts of the evidence were not 'cross-admissible,' or able to be heard by the same jury fairly.

The DPP said this had prevented Rapson from receiving a fair trial.

Prosecutor Peter Kidd SC told the appeal court Rapson should face three separate trials on the charges. But Rapson's barrister Paul Holdenson QC argued there should be separate trials for each of the eight victims.

FULL COVERAGE

Former Catholic priest released on bail after court quashes child sexual abuse convictions (ABC)

Vic priest has sex convictions quashed (Yahoo7)

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