Ex-Brother appeals assault sentence

A FORMER Christian Brother, convicted in 1997 over the indecent assault of two Ballarat school boys, was yesterday jailed for three months over a fresh charge of indecent assault dating back to 1974.

Yet Stephen Francis Farrell, 62, who pleaded guilty to molesting the third school boy victim, walked from Ballarat Magistrates Court after lawyers immediately appealed the jail term. 

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson said Farrell had exploited his position of power to sexually abuse a boy in his care, adding the community must know that the courts denounced such behaviour. 

“Slowly but surely we have come to realise many of these sexual predators are people who have taken advantage of positions of power,” Ms Hodgson said. 

“We forget in a more secular 2013 the power the church wielded over families.”

Farrell was a 22-year-old teacher at St Alipius Christian Brothers school in 1974 when he assaulted the 10-year-old victim in the sick bay.

The court heard Farrell’s latest victim said in an impact statement that the day he was assaulted was the “worst and scariest” day of his life.

Farrell will now face an appeal hearing in the County Court next February.

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