A priest who sexually abused girls as young as 10 over three decades will soon be released on parole after spending four years in a NSW prison, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Finian Egan, 81, will be released from jail on December 19, despite desperate pleas from his victims to keep him locked up.
“This sends a message not just to me, but to every child sex survivor,” victim Kellie Roche said.
It was Ms Roche’s courageous decision in 2010 to report Egan’s attacks on her while he was a parish priest at Carlingford, in Sydney, in the 1980s that led to other victims coming forward. She even asked for the sentencing judge to lift the suppression order on her name so that she could talk about his crimes.
Ms Roche, who now works with the charity Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia, said setting Egan free was an insult to all child sex survivors.
“The pain abusers cause is multi-generational, it affects my own children. I’m one of the lucky ones as I’ve come out with a job and a family, but it still affects me in a huge way every day,” she said.
The parole authority considers Egan is no longer a risk to the community because of his age. He was sentenced to a maximum eight years in prison in 2013 after he was convicted of rape and seven counts of indecent assault by the District Court.
The charges related to attacks on three girls, aged between 10 and 17, which occurred between 1961 and 1987 while Egan worked as a priest at Leichhardt and Carlingford as well as The Entrance on the Central Coast.
During his trial the court heard that Egan had regularly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl who lived at a Catholic boarding house at Leichhardt. She said nuns violently punished her when she spoke of the assaults.
Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston said Egan’s release was “unbelievable” given victims suffered a lifetime of damage.