60 years on, victim recalls alleged abuse by church minister
SIXTY years on a man says he recalls being sexually abused by a young church minister when swimming with a group of boys.
His memory recall has led to the now retired church minister being charged with historic sex offences.
Now aged 86, the accused man will defend allegations that he indecently assaulted the boy in a rural swimming hole.
He went before an Ipswich magistrate this week on three counts of committing indecent assaults on young males.
Magistrate Donna MacCallum must decide if there is sufficient evidence in the Crown case for the man to stand trial.
The man's barrister Julian Noud told the hearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court this was an unusual matter.
"It is a very unusual case. An allegation of indecent dealing by him 60 years ago," Mr Noud said at the outset of the hearing.
"It's very unique and an unusual feature that takes it out of the ordinary case.
"Whether there is enough evidence to put this man on trial. And the reliability of that."
And because of its unusual nature he said the defence team was entitled for all witnesses to physically attend court and be cross-examined.
He made the submission after legal officer with the Crown, Jessica Beckman, said two of five witnesses would give their evidence by a phone link with the court as they lived some distance away from Ipswich.
The matter was to be considered by Ms MacCallum.
Mr Noud said he would show his hand and be making "a no case" to answer submission at the end of proceedings with the case centred on the complainant's "revived memories".
The case proceeded with the alleged victim, now a man aged in his 70s, taking the stand.
"I didn't know anything happened to me," the man said in evidence.
But after his brother made a comment to him in 2011 about getting counselling, he made a Freedom of Information request and discovered that he'd been abused by a man (not the minister) in the front seat of a VW car in 1958.
"I got the phone call from my brother. I said what happened. He said sexual abuse. I was shocked," the man told the hearing.
"I made enquiries under Freedom of Information (legislation) to Queensland Police."
The man during cross-examination said he recalled some time afterwards a memory of being sexually abused by the minister in an unrelated incident.
"I was able to recall that we were at a swimming hole," he said.
"You did not have any memory until that point," queried Mr Noud.
"Correct," said the man.
"How did that memory come back to you," said Mr Noud.
"It just came," he said.
He explained that the memory came while he received counselling, answering no when asked if any hypnotism was used.
"I recalled. Thought about it for a while. Was able to recall that event," he said.
The man outlined an alleged incident that he believes occurred at a waterhole in the Somerset region in the early 1960s.
The hearing resumes with more witnesses in mid-August.