Another victim claims sexual abuse at St Patrick’s College in Sale
The investigation into sexual abuse at St Patrick’s College in Sale has broadened with at least one other victim contacting police.
Detectives from the child-exploitation Sano Taskforce encouraged victims to contact police after revealing they were investigating claims of sexual abuse at the former boarding school in the 1970s and 1980s.
Several men have alleged they were sexually abused while boarding at the Catholic school, south-east of Melbourne, between the ages of 11 and 15.
Police arrested an 87-year-old Sale man in relation to the investigation last Thursday, but he was released from custody pending further inquiries.
Fairfax Media can reveal another victim has since contacted the taskforce alleging he was molested at the school when he was about 12 or 13 years old.
The man, who cannot be named, said he was molested while in the sick bay of the boarding house. He said he was not targeted further after he resisted and pushed his attacker away.
But he said the incident had affected him throughout his adult life and he had long-contemplated contacting police. He decided to come forward after learning of the other alleged cases of abuse last week.
The taskforce received the first complaint from a former boarder about 12 months ago.
Sano Taskforce Detective Inspector Stephen Dennis appealed to former staff or students of the college with any knowledge of the abuse to contact police.
“St Patrick’s College was operating as a boys-only boarding school when the incidents occurred so there may be people outside of Sale that may be affected,” he said.
St Patrick’s principal Christopher Randell said the school was first made aware of the allegations last Wednesday morning and would cooperate fully with any police investigation.
“It’s always very disturbing to hear of allegations of this nature,” he said.
The boarding school, which was run by the Marist Brothers, closed in 1980.
The Marist Brothers issued a statement last week saying the order would also cooperate with police.
“We take this opportunity to reiterate our enduring apology to those in our charge who have suffered past abuse and the impact of that one their lives,” the statement says.
“We also actively encourage any person with evidence of criminal behaviour to take that to the police of the appropriate investigation.”
The college became a co-educational school in the 1990s with the amalgamation of St Patrick’s College and the town’s girls-only school, Our Lady of Sion College.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Sano Taskforce toll free line on 1800 110 007. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.