Sunday, 16 September 2012

Msgr Dempsey: About to be charged in the Hepworth rape case?

I've just been alerted of this story from Adelaide: it seems police look set to act on the allegations made by Archbishop Hepworth in relation to Brighton parish Priest Msgr Dempsey.

The Hepworth case

Archbishop Hepworth, you will recall was formerly Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

His claim that he was abused as a seminarian and a young priest was accepted by the Melbourne Archdiocese.  But he went public with his case, with Senator Xenophon naming Msgr Dempsey in Parliament, because of extended delays and refusal to act on the part of the Adelaide Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese subsequently commissioned an inquiry into the process which cleared both the Archdiocese and Msgr Dempsey.  Its credibility, however, was somewhat undermined by Archbishop Hepworth's refusal to cooperate with it because of his previous dealings with the person conducting the inquiry and various procedural matters.

Latest developments

The Advertiser reports that:

"THE state's top prosecutor is considering whether there is enough evidence to charge Catholic priest Ian Dempsey with the alleged rape of Archbishop John Hepworth...

In a major development, legal sources have told The Advertiser police now believe there is enough evidence to charge Father Dempsey with multiple counts of rape and indecent assault arising from incidents that occurred in the 1960s.

The police move to seek a legal opinion from the Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber, QC, on the strength of the evidence gathered in the 10-month investigation indicates the investigation is in its final stages. The sources said Mr Kimber has asked Sexual Crimes Investigation Branch detectives to follow up on several areas. Senior police and Mr Kimber yesterday declined to comment on the status of the investigation."

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