Women al­lege rapes in school dun­geon

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AL­MOST 50 women have come for­ward to tell de­tec­tives they were raped and sex­u­ally as­saulted at a former Syd­ney girls’ school, many claim­ing they were at­tacked in the school’s no­to­ri­ous sand­stone dun­geon.

De­tec­tives set up Strike Force Bilvo to in­ves­ti­gate the claims and are fo­cus­ing on two of the three former of­fi­cials at the no­to­ri­ous Par­ra­matta Girls Train­ing School who are still alive.

The two per­sons of in­ter­est were named in the child sex abuse royal com­mis­sion as Frank Valen­tine, 75, who now lives in a beach­side apart­ment block at Red­cliffe in Bris­bane’s northeast, and Noel Green­away, who lives at Nor­man­hurst in Syd­ney.

The two men were re­ferred to po­lice as part of the largest in­ves­ti­ga­tion to come out of the royal com­mis­sion which last year ex­am­ined the ex­pe­ri­ence of women who were sex­u­ally abused as chil­dren at the school be­tween 1950 and 1974.

De­tec­tives yes­ter­day made a pub­lic ap­peal for former staff mem­bers of the school, who worked there from 1960 to 1973, to come for­ward.

“They may be able to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the al­leged abuse of the girls at the school dur­ing that pe­riod,” Act­ing Su­per­in­ten­dent Robert Toyn­ton said yes­ter­day.

“Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is sought from any­one able to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual abuse against former res­i­dents.”

Mr Toyn­ton, act­ing Par­ra­matta Lo­cal Area Com­man­der, said as a re­sult of the royal com­mis­sion, al­most 50 former res­i­dents of the school had made al­le­ga­tions of be­ing raped and sex­u­ally and phys­i­cally abused by former male se­nior staff mem­bers.

Thou­sands of pages of his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments had been seized by the strike force through 44 sep­a­rate search war­rants, he said.

“Strike Force Bilvo was cre­ated to in­ves­ti­gate the com­plaints and the former staff mem­bers named at the royal com­mis­sion hear­ings are now at the cen­tre of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said. “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is fo­cused on two liv­ing al­leged of­fend­ers who were se­nior of­fi­cers of the school and were named at the royal com­mis­sion in 2014.”

Mr Valen­tine and Mr Green­away have vig­or­ously de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

The ex­is­tence of the dun­geon with con­vict- built walls was con­firmed at the royal com­mis­sion. For years, no one would be­lieve the former stu­dents when they told of be­ing locked in there and abused.

Most of the girls were sent to the now- closed school, from as young as 10, by the courts for be­ing “un­con­trol­lable” or in moral dan­ger. Many were guilty of merely be­ing poor.

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