Cops did not believe therapist abused teen, jury told

Miklos Bolza |

An ex-therapist has been accused of sexually abusing boys in rural NSW.
An ex-therapist has been accused of sexually abusing boys in rural NSW.

A vulnerable teenage boy sexually abused by his counsellor in rural NSW was beaten up by his father for ‘ruining someone’s career’ by taking the allegations to police, a jury has been told.

The now ex-therapist, who cannot legally be named or identified, is also accused of jointly raping another teenager along with a local dentist in the backroom of his clinic in a countryside town.

At Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday, jurors heard the accused plead not guilty to a total of 42 counts, including indecent assault, sexual assault and sexual intercourse without consent.

The man, who is now in his 70s, has been accused of sexually abusing 13 teenage or pre-teenage boys in Sydney and rural NSW from 1977 to 1986.

“It’s the crown case that the accused had a sexual interest in teenage and pre-teenage boys,” said crown prosecutor David Patch.

“He put that sexual interest into effect by using his position as a child counsellor and therapist to sexually abuse vulnerable boys in his care.”

On some occasions he touched the young boys on their genitalia while at other times, he went further, the jury heard.

The crimes were committed at a youth centre for troubled boys, a school and at the man’s private practices, Mr Patch said.

The therapist frequently used “relaxation techniques” to make it easier to touch young boys and groom them, he told the jury.

Mr Patch said that after inappropriately touching one teen, the accused told him to masturbate daily, claiming it would “release energy”.

In a letter sent after a complaint to the Australian Counselling Association, the accused admitted acting “inappropriately” on occasion and apologised, the prosecutor said.

The therapist is alleged to have twice driven to nearby bushland with a second teen on his lap, and later sexually abused the boy as he was pretending to sleep in his bed.

A third teen was abused around 150 times over several years, including by being fondled as he lay on the examination bed, the jury heard.

“Just relax, this will help the stress. You are safe,” he allegedly told the teen while touching him.

That boy was shown pornographic magazines at later sessions, the jury heard.

He would allegedly enter a “hypnotic state” after being touched repeatedly and was asked by the accused to move in with him.

The therapist and a local dentist later raped the boy on multiple occasions at a local clinic using gloves and cream, the prosecutor said.

“He was very uncomfortable and in pain,” the prosecutor said describing one such event.

After making the counsellor angry by wearing women’s panties, the boy stopped attending sessions and took his abuse allegations to the Catholic church.

However, he was not believed because of the therapist’s position as an upstanding member of the community, with a bishop saying nothing could be done, Mr Patch said.

Similar claims of disbelief happened to a fourth boy who “gave it all he could” punching the counsellor repeatedly in the face after seeing him with an erection while being touched during a session.

He ran to tell the police.

However, the therapist then turned up at the station and his father was told, the jury heard.

“His father beat him up and said, ‘You stupid, little f***ing bastard. You’re going to wreck someone’s career,'” Mr Patch said.

The trial with Judge Penelope Hock continues on Tuesday.

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