Church pays out on fraudulent claims of sex abuse

In 2013, a woman told the Palmerston North Catholic Diocese that a priest had raped her. The alleged rape and sexual abuse were reported to have happened in October 1985.

The church paid her a total of $188,000.00 on what was subsequently shown to be fraudulent claims.

She had provided medical reports by a psychiatrist and a general practitioner supporting her claim as well as emails purportedly from other victims of the same priest.

All her claims as well as the emails from other purported victims were fake.

An independent investigator working for the church at the time found that the information provided was legitimate.

The woman wanted her complaint to be kept confidential and dealt with only by the church.

The complaint was handled in-house by the Palmerston North Catholic Diocese Protocol Committee, which deals with allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.

The fraud was discovered only when the church queried one of the reports with a health provider.

The woman, who has name suppression, appeared at the Morrinsville District Court on Wednesday, June 8.

She had been charged with obtaining by deception $188,190.17 from the Catholic Church.

She is due to appear at the Hamilton District Court on June 27 for sentencing.

In the Morrinsville District Court, the former chair of the protocol committee told the court that the woman took advantage of her goodwill.

“I believe her fraudulent claims have damaged the claims of men and women who have suffered genuine abuse and has caused psychological harm to persons like myself, who give their time to support victims,” she said as part of her victim impact statement.

” “I was duped and indeed cynically mocked by one of my own gender who blatantly lied … fraudulently secured a large sum of money for her own use and committed a grave injustice on an innocent man.”

Source

News category: New Zealand.

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