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Bishop Christopher Saunders will next appear in court in June (Bigstock)

Details of charges against former Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders were revealed on Friday, after the retired bishop failed in his bid to prevent their publication. Source: ABC News.

Bishop Saunders was arrested at his home in Broome on February 21 and charged with 19 sexual offences.

At his first court appearance the following day, his lawyer Seamus Rafferty indicated the 74-year-old would plead not guilty to all charges.

He also requested a suppression order restricting coverage of proceedings, telling the court that media coverage of the case had jeopardised his client’s right to a fair trial.

Magistrate Deen Potter temporarily granted the suppression order but at a special hearing in the Broome Magistrates Court on Friday, the ruled the suppression order be lifted.

The ruling allows details of the 26 criminal charges to be reported in full for the first time.

Bishop Saunders is facing two counts of sexual penetration without consent, three counts of indecent dealings with a child and 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

The sexual assault charges relate to one complainant, with the alleged offending commencing in 2008 when the complainant was aged 16 or 17 years of age.

The court heard the alleged offences occurred at several different locations across the Kimberley over a period of five years.

Bishop Saunders has also been charged with holding a firearm without a licence and inadequate storage of a firearm.

Bishop Saunders is due back in court on June 17.

In a statement released on February 22, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said the Church would continue to co-operate with police.

“It is right and proper, and indeed necessary, that all allegations be thoroughly investigated,” he said.

“The Church will continue to cooperate fully with police and take every necessary step to avoid any actions which may compromise the integrity and autonomy of the police investigation.”


Further details of retired Bishop Christopher Saunders’ court case revealed after suppression order lifted (By Erin Peak and Rosanne Maloney, ABC News)


Matter regarding Bishop Christopher Saunders (ACBC) 

Statement Re: Former Bishop Christopher Saunders (Broome Diocese)