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Fr David Lancini thanked his family and supporters outside Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday (ABC News/Georgia Loney)

A North Queensland priest accused of child sexual abuse has had all charges dropped after his lawyers told the court claims against him had been either fabricated or mistaken. Source: ABC News.

Fr David Lancini appeared in Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday, flanked by supporters. 

His lawyer, Justin Greggery, said witnesses had colluded on “demonstrably” fabricated statements before Fr Lancini was charged in December 2023 with eight counts of indecent treatment of a boy under 14 years.

He alleged one of the witnesses, who was not the complainant, had a vendetta against Fr Lancini.

Mr Greggery told the court Fr Lancini was in the seminary in Brisbane about Christmas 1971 when some of the offences were alleged to have occurred.

“He could not physically have committed the offences, “ Mr Greggery said.

Mr Greggery told the court detectives knew this information as early as September 2023.

“Despite this evidence, [detectives] arrested Fr Lancini,” he said.

“Fr Lancini’s arrests were on the basis of demonstrably false statements by critical prosecution witnesses.”

Mr Greggery told the court Fr Lancini was a priest with an unblemished history. 

A committal mention was due to be held today, but prosecutor Sergeant Tim Masden said there was no evidence to present.

Magistrate Viviana Keegan said as the prosecution had offered no evidence, she was dismissing all eight charges.

Supporters of Fr Lancini cheered after charges against him were dismissed. 

Outside court, Fr Lancini thanked his family and supporters.

“I thank them for their kindness, their generosity and their goodness,” he said.

“Also for the many emails, letters and cards, and words of encouragement from the Bishop, religious brothers and sisters.”

Townsville Bishop Tim Harris said while he was pleased the charges had been dismissed, he felt deeply for victims and survivors of abuse. 

“Situations like this may cause more harm to those, and make it even more difficult for victims to come forward and tell their story,” he said in a statement. 


Child sex abuse charges against Townsville priest David Lancini dropped (By Georgia Loney, ABC News)