The Melbourne Archdiocese has been forced to pay a record $2 million in compensation after originally only offering $27,500 to a survivor of notorious priest Kevin O’Donnell. Source: Herald Sun.
David Kenter won the payout – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – more than 45 years after he was first sexually abused as a nine-year-old altar boy.
O’Donnell inflicted what court documents described as “ongoing and regular horrific sexual abuse” on Mr Kenter from 1975 to 1977.
Complaints were made to the Church about O’Donnell – who was eventually convicted in 1995 for indecent assault against 12 children – more than 15 years before Mr Kenter’s abuse began. But, in court documents from the settlement, the Church denied the abuse was caused by negligence of the Melbourne archbishop, who was responsible for O’Donnell’s appointment.
Mr Kenter, now 56, said he was relieved the court process was over.
The navy veteran said he signed up to the Melbourne Response Scheme in 2003 because he thought it was his only option. He called the scheme, which meant survivors agreed to no further legal action in exchange for compensation, an “insult to survivors”.
Laws introduced in 2018 allowed survivors to challenge this compensation.
A spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne said while they cannot comment on individual cases, they were “appalled by the nature of such crimes” and have “publicly apologised to all survivors”.
Victim of notorious priest Kevin O’Donnell wins $2 million in compensation (By Sarah Booth, Herald Sun)