School chaplain and pupil had oral sex 35 times, court told

Woman (28) alleges she was physically and sexually assaulted between 2004 and 2007

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a school chaplain has told the High Court he first kissed her after she turned 17. "It was an intimate kiss on the mouth," she said.

The woman said the kiss happened after the chaplain, who was also a teacher, brought her to his house following a trip to the cinema with other school children. She said the sexual element between them progressed and they had oral sex about 35 times.

In her action, the woman alleges, between 2004 and 2007 she was repeatedly and wrongfully physically and sexually assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually abused and subjected to sexualised behaviour by the chaplain.

The now 28-year-old woman has sued the former chaplain, who left the Catholic priesthood some years ago; the school where he was chaplain and the local bishop, who all deny liability.


Behind the altar

In evidence on Tuesday, the third day of her action, the woman said she and the chaplain had oral sex about 35 times including during a youth trip to Cologne, Germany, to see the pope.

They had oral sex the night before the students and teachers hiked to the area outside the city where the pope said an early morning Mass, she said.

She said they also had oral sex in the chaplain’s school office when she was half undressed, in his bedroom when they were both undressed, in his shower, his car and in the school oratory.

She told Mr Justice Robert Eagar it also happened in a room behind the altar before the sixth-year graduation mass.

When the woman’s counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC put to her the former priest would say none of it ever happened and that it was a “fabrication”, she replied: “That is not true. I know this happened.”

She said her parents did not know anything about it and they held the chaplain in high regard. “I lied about who I was going to meet, where I was going,” she said.

The chaplain had her number in his phone under a different name and she had his number in her phone also under a different name, she said.

The case continues on Wednesday.