Convicted Marist Brother appeals sentence


An ex-school principal convicted of sexually abusing students is appealing a recent sentence.A notorious Catholic school principal convicted multiple times of sexually abusing students in Victoria is challenging a recent sentence for an offence against a young boy.

Marist Brother Gerard Joseph McNamara, 80, appeared before the Victorian County Court on Friday for an administrative hearing about his appeal against a sentence for indecent assault.

McNamara in January received a partially-suspended 12-month jail sentence from Melbourne Magistrates Court for the abuse.

In March, at the same court, McNamara pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecent assault involving boys in regional Victoria during the 1970s.

The former teacher is due to face a County Court pre-sentence plea hearing over those charges on July 19.

On Friday, his barrister asked the appeal against sentence be adjourned to the same date as the plea hearing as it’s likely one case will affect the other.

McNamara will remain on bail until the hearing.

In December 2016, McNamara avoided a jail sentence for sexually abusing students while giving them “sports massages” in the 1970s.

The Marist Brother was handed a 16-month suspended sentence by the Victorian County Court after admitting to indecently assaulting two brothers in 1975.

It was the second time McNamara avoided a jail term after he was sentenced in 2005 to 36 months – also wholly suspended – for seven offences committed in the exact same circumstances.

Most of the assaults in those cases happened in the school sports shed after the student sustained an “injury”.

His victims have previously told the court McNamara had a reputation among students, who referred to the abuse as “getting a rub down from Brother Gerard”.

McNamara was principal and sports master at St Paul’s Catholic College in Traralgon in the early 1970s when the offences took place.

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