Former Stannies priest jailed over historic sex assaults – JACINTA CARROLL

St Stanislaus' College, Bathurst.

 St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst.

A FORMER St Stanislaus’ College priest, teacher and dorm master will spend at least three and a half years in jail for the historic sexual assault of a student under his care.

Glenn Michael Humphreys, now 64, was sentenced on two indictments on Thursday in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court.

The first indictment, eight counts of indecent assault to which he pleaded guilty, related to the assault of a student under his care at St Stanislaus’ in 1982.

The second indictment – to which he pleaded not guilty but was later found guilty by a jury – included seven counts of indecent assault and one of sexual intercourse without consent, but had no connection to the Bathurst school.

On Thursday, Judge Conlon lifted non-publication orders that had been in place during the trial, saying he saw “no reason to maintain them”.

Humphreys was attached to St Stanislaus’ College between 1978 and 1982 in various roles, including teacher and dorm master. The assaults against the victim occurred over a five-week period in 1982.

Agreed facts revealed the victim had been a boarder at the school when he was called to Humphreys’ room at lights out one night.

Humphreys, who was dorm master at the time, got the student to sit down and listen to music. Humphreys told the student he looked tense and needed a massage. He told the student to take off his top before massaging his back with oil.

The student later left and returned to bed.

One week later, the student was again called to Humphreys’ room where again he massaged his back before instructing the student to lay on his back.

Humphreys removed the student’s pyjamas, which made him feel “vulnerable and exposed”, and massaged his legs before brushing his penis and testicles and masturbating him. He then said to the student “it’s getting late, go back to bed”.

Similar incidents occurred over the next few weeks, including Humphreys forcing the student to masturbate him and Humphreys performing fellatio on the student.

While no threat was made against the victim, Judge Conlon said Humphreys had abused a position of trust to groom the victim. He said at the time of the offence, Humphreys was a 29-year-old man responsible for the welfare of students who took advantage of his position of authority.

In sentencing, Judge Conlon said the offender was now a 64-year-old man whose only conviction on record was in the District Court in Perth on four charges of unlawful indecent assault, for which he served a total of 22 months’ imprisonment.

Since his release, the court heard, Humphreys had undertaken treatment.

In a document tendered to the court in April, Humphreys detailed the stresses which were on him at the time of the offending conduct and spoke about his lack of awareness of skills in setting and maintaining boundaries.

However, Judge Conlon said this was something he found difficult to understand, saying he thought Humphreys’ boundaries “would have been set in stone when he undertook his vows, including the vow of chastity”.

The court also heard that since his release from jail in Western Australia, Humphreys has been living with aged members of the religious community and enjoying the social support of priests of the religious order.

A psychiatrist’s report given to the court spoke of Humphreys’ progress and said he was a below average risk of reoffending. Humphreys’ pre-sentence report also said he was in a low risk category of reoffending, relative to other sex offenders.

References and testimonials provided to the court told how his life’s work was for “the care of others, particularly those in less fortunate circumstances”. The references said Humphreys was held in “high esteem” by all who came in contact with him.

Reverend Burke, who has known the offender since 1974 and visited him in jail in Western Australia, said while in custody he was dedicated to helping fellow inmates.

In sentencing, Judge Conlon found Humphreys’ lack of offending for 32 years and his service to the community meant he was unlikely to reoffend.

While he did not accept the offender pleaded guilty to the charges relating to Bathurst at the earliest opportunity, he said the timing of his plea still carried some utilitarian value.

Humphreys was convicted on both indictments and sentenced to an aggregate term of seven years and six months in jail, expiring on December 19, 2025. A non-parole period of three years and six months will expire on December 19, 2021.

Judge Conlon recommended Humphreys be jailed in a minimum security facility.
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