The operator of this website is the highly motivated community-minded Martin Mitchell from Australia (himself an instititionalised and abused minor in church institutions in the former West Germany)

( 20.06.2004 )

String of sex-related incidents have wracked South Australian Churches. Police in hot pursuit of all such offenders. The passage of time does not lessen the seriousness of the allegations levelled against these abusers.

[Adelaide] SUNDAY MAIL, 20 June 2004 @
www.sundaymail.com.au

Priest on sex act charges
By CHRIS PIPPOS and MATT CLEMOW

20jun04

A UNITING Church minister has been charged with indecent behaviour and suspended from his eastern suburbs ministry.

The Reverend Geoffrey Robert Diment, 54, of Beaumont, was charged by police on Friday after a two-week investigation into allegations of lewd acts.

The alleged victims include two young women who live in the same street as Mr Diment, the priest at Beaumont Uniting Church.

It is understood police have video surveillance of Mr Diment - taken about two weeks ago - when the alleged acts occurred. A police spokesman confirmed the charges but said it would be inappropriate to comment further.

The mother of the two women, who declined to be named, complained to Norwood police earlier this month.

One of her daughters has sought counselling following the alleged incidents and has been staying at a friend’s house.

Mr Diment was granted police bail and the matter will be heard in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in August.

The revelation is the latest in a string of sex-related incidents which have wracked South Australia’s church community. Mr. Diment could not be contacted yesterday but, according to the church’s state general secretary, Stuart Cameron, Mr Diment and his family are "quite distressed".

"What I can say is that Reverend Diment has been suspended from the ministry because of the charges which he made known to us," Mr Cameron said at Reverend Diment’s house.

"He has been suspended for a period of time until we are able to get more information."

Mr Cameron said the church had acted promptly after learning of the "deeply concerning" allegations.

"He was suspended from his position by the presbytery that afternoon - this is standard practice in the Uniting Church," he said.

Mr Cameron said the Beaumont congregation would be notified of the "suspension and circumstances" but no replacement minister has been appointed.

"Of course, we are deeply concerned about what is alleged to have happened," he said.

The shock for the Uniting Church follows the resignation of Anglican Archbishop Ian George after an inquiry denounced his handling of child-sex abuse by church officials, while the Catholic Church has been criticised over revelations a bus driver preyed on intellectually disabled students at St Ann’s Special School in the 1980s.


© Advertiser Newspaper Pty Limited

[ Date of first publication on this Website: 20 June 2004 ]


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