Priest had sex with boy: court  

Priest had sex with boy: court  

A 13-YEAR-OLD Hunter Valley boy was allegedly forced to have homosexual intercourse and oral sex with his parish priest at several public locations across the region, East Maitland District Court heard yesterday.
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Giving evidence against Father James Patrick Fletcher was the alleged victim, who cannot be named, now an adult.

Father Fletcher, 62, of Crebert Street, Mayfield, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of having homosexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 18 and one count of committing an aggravated act of indecency on a child.

Father Fletcher sat emotionless in the dock as the court heard how the then 13-year-old had experienced “excruciating pain” during his first alleged sexual encounter.

The jury, comprising eight men and four women, heard how Father Fletcher had visited the victim’s home on a number of occasions and had driven the boy home.

Barrister Ian Barker QC (for Father Fletcher) put it to the victim that he let Father Fletcher have sex with him “again and again without opposition.”

“He made threats, that’s why I did not say anything,” the alleged victim said.

Mr Barker said sites the victim claimed he was abused at were all public places and “no one saw anything.”

Asked if he was making the story up so he could get money, the alleged victim said he was not.

“Do you think I would put my whole family through this?” he said.

The victim agreed with Mr Barker that he did approach Father Fletcher to officiate at a family wedding.

Also giving evidence yesterday were the alleged victim’s parents and his brother.

The brother told the court that Father Fletcher was a “top sort of fellow” who he always looked forward to seeing.

He said he became angry when Father Fletcher would take his brother home and he was left with a lengthy trip on the bus.

The parents and the brother told the court that there was an incident when they were attending a function and the alleged victim went missing for about 11/2 hours.

Family members searched streets and business areas and later the mother called the police.

The alleged victim returned soon after.

The mother said Father Fletcher told her it was normal behaviour for a boy to stray from the family.

The trial continues on Monday.

Father James Patrick Fletcher