Priest James Fletcher denies boy sex claim  

Priest James Fletcher denies boy sex claim  

BRANXTON Catholic parish priest James Fletcher says his fear of dying and going to hell has prevented him from ever doing anything sexual.
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He made the statement during a videotaped interview at Maitland police station in May last year, which was played in East Maitland District Court yesterday during a trial involving nine charges against him.

Fletcher, 63, on leave from his parish and now living in Crebert Street, Mayfield, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of having homosexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 18 and one count of committing an aggravated act of indecency with a child.

The case, before Judge Graham Armitage and a jury of eight men and four women, began last week and continues today.

The alleged victim, now an adult who cannot be identified, said he was 13 when he had homosexual intercourse and oral sex with Fletcher at several public Hunter Valley locations about 15 years ago.

In the police interview, Fletcher said he had never done anything of a sexual nature.

He denied the alleged victim’s allegations, saying they were lies and that he had been stabbed in the back.

The alleged victim has given the court graphic details of some allegations.

The boy’s father, mother and brother said they once attended a family function and the alleged victim went missing for 11/2 hours.

They searched streets and business areas and called police before the boy returned.

The mother said she told Fletcher the next day what had happened and how upset the family had been.

In the police interview, Fletcher said he could not recall the alleged function, had never been to the address in question and did not meet the boy nearby at the time.

Fletcher told arresting police he could not remember if he had ever driven the alleged victim home, but if he had, it would have been with prior parental permission.

Fletcher denied alleged individual sexual acts, discussing sexual matters with the child, telling the boy that the incidents were their special time together or making threats to the boy about harm to members of his family if he told anyone what had happened.

Father James Fletcher