Kiwi priest sentenced on bigamy charges

A New Zealand-born priest of the Liberal Catholic Church has been handed a suspended jail sentence in Australia for two counts of bigamy.

Alec Stevenson, 70, illegally married two women over four decades, after marrying his first wife in New Zealand in 1962.

But he never divorced his first wife, with whom he had three children.

Stevenson, who left New Zealand in 1970, had pleaded not guilty to the bigamy charges, but was found guilty in the Australian Capital Territory.

The Liberal Catholic Church does not enforce celibacy for priests.

On being sentenced, Stevenson apologised to his wives and said he accepted responsibility for his “selfish and defensive behaviour”.

He was ordained as a priest upon moving to Australia.

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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