Ex-teacher cleared of sex charges

Narrogin Observer - - News - Shan­non Hampton and Elle Far­cic

An el­derly for­mer teacher has been cleared of al­le­ga­tions he re­peat­edly sex­u­ally abused a young Abo­rig­i­nal girl at Wan­der­ing Mis­sion al­most 60 years ago.

Michael Fran­cis Mo­ran, 83, was ac­cused of mo­lest­ing the stu­dent when he was her teacher at the Catholic mis­sion, about 120km south-east of Perth, be­tween 1960 and 1963.

But after a four-day District Court trial, and more than five hours of de­lib­er­a­tions, a jury last Fri­day ac­quit­ted him of all charges against him.

Dur­ing the trial, prose­cu­tors told the court the com­plainant, a member of the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion, was taken away from her fam­ily as an in­fant and made a ward of the State, with her ear­li­est mem­ory be­ing taken to the mis­sion when she was four years old.

She was ini­tially raised by nuns and Mr Mo­ran be­came her first non-Abo­rig­i­nal male teacher when she was 10 years old in 1960.

The com­plainant, now 68, came for­ward after the Royal Com­mis­sion into In­sti­tu­tional Re­sponses to Child Sex­ual Abuse, fil­ing a state­ment with po­lice in 2015.

His lawyer Philip Urquhart said the first Mr Mo­ran heard of the al­le­ga­tions was when he was charged last year.

Mr Urquhart said be­fore re­tir­ing, Mr Mo­ran had a decades­long ca­reer as a highly re­garded ed­u­ca­tor in which he taught hun­dreds of chil­dren.

“Yet it is one soli­tary per­son who has made th­ese al­le­ga­tions against him, over 50 years later,” he said.

Picture: Ian Munro

Michael Fran­cis Mo­ran

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.