Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gerard Klep: Charged with multiple Offences of indecent Assault

The former college principal was charged yesterday after being questioned by police about allegations he sexually assaulted students at the college during the 1970s and '80s.

It is believed some of the charges also relate to assaults committed at Salesian College Chadstone.

Mr Klep, 69, was charged with six counts of indecent assault allegedly committed between 1974 and 1984. He was allegedly moved to Samoa by the Salesian order after investigations into sex assault allegations began.

The Herald Sun can reveal another former Salesian priest has been questioned by police this week over allegations he also abused children. He was released pending summons.

It brings to nine the number of former Salesian teachers who have now been accused of serious sexual offences against students at the school during four decades from the 1960s.

It has previously been alleged the Salesian order has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation payments to alleged victims.

Former Rupertswood vice-principal David Rapson is due to stand trial at the County Court this year charged with abusing boys at the school between 1973 and 1990.

The arrests were sparked by fresh allegations levelled during Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

A third priest, not connected to the Salesian Order, has also been arrested.

Former Eltham priest Father Wilfred Baker was arrested on Wednesday. He has been charged with a serious sexual offence, indecent assault and gross indecency, over alleged incidents between 1966 and 1974.

The arrests were the first by Victoria Police's new Taskforce Sano - set up to investigate historical and new allegations that have emanated from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

Mr Klep and Mr Baker are expected to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court today.