New Telegraph

Ex-bishop of Broome Charged With Rape in Australia

Australian Catholic bishop, Christopher Saunders has been charged with rape and a string of historical sex offences – some against children. The 74-year-old was arrested in Broome on Wednesday, after parallel investigations ordered by Western Australian police and the Pope.

Saunders, who has denied allegations in the past, was refused bail appeared in court yesterday. He is one of the most senior Catholic clerics to face charges of this nature. Saunders is accused of two counts of rape, 14 counts of unlawful and indecent assault, and three counts of indecently dealing with a child as a person in authority.

The alleged offending occurred in the remote Western Australian towns of Broome, Kununurra and the Aboriginal community of Kalumburu between 2008 and 2014, reports the BBC. Aside from the late Cardinal George Pell, who was jailed and then acquitted, Saunders is the most senior Catholic official in the country to be charged with child sex offences.

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