Alleged sex abuse victim tells court: ‘Priests ruled’
A MAN who claims a Catholic priest from his school photographed him naked and abused him when he was a boy told a court that at that time, "priests ruled".
"They had absolute power over everything and you dare not speak against them or do anything against them," the complainant against the ex-priest said in his evidence.
But defence counsel, Craig Eberhardt, told a jury that Michael Ambrose Endicott, who is charged with indecent dealing, was "not on trial for being a Catholic priest".
"The Catholic Church is not on trial," Mr Eberhardt told the jury in his final address in the Brisbane District Court trial.
Endicott has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecently dealing with a student at a Coorparoo school between 1975 and 1981, when the boy was aged nine to 15.
Endicott, who was a priest, religious and science teacher at the school and the school photographer, is alleged to have taken photos of the boy, while he was naked.
It is also alleged that on one occasion, Endicott asked the boy to arouse himself, photographed him masturbating and performed oral sex on the boy.
Crown prosecutor Russell Clutterbuck reminded the jury of the complainant's evidence, that after that incident, he "gave up on everything".
"I gave up on school, I gave up on interests, I started misbehaving, I was getting into a lot of trouble," the man told the court.
"I just didn't want to be a part of it anymore." Mr Clutterbuck said when he was asked what he was referring to, the complainant said "life".
Mr Clutterbuck said the man told the court the things that Endicott did to him were indelibly printed on his mind.
Four Crown witnesses, all ex-students, gave "similar fact evidence" of being photographed naked by Father Endicott.
One said the priest asked to take "statue photos" of him, naked under a sheet.
Mr Clutterbuck asked the jury to consider how a child in the late 1970s, early 1980s would have reacted to the things he said Father Endicott did to him.
He said the complainant was a young and innocent boy believing he would be cared for and looked after.
But Mr Eberhardt reminded the jury of inconsistencies in the complainant's evidence, when compared with what other witnesses said he had told them years later.
He did not make any complaints at the time of the alleged incidents and there were no witnesses.
Endicott is charged over allegedly photographing the boy naked on a school hiking trip in 1975 and in a school tower in 1979.
In 1980, the priest allegedly asked the boy, then 13, to take off his shorts and pull down his underwear, and then asked the boy to arouse himself.
Endicott photographed the boy masturbating and then put his mouth on the boy's penis and tried to insert his finger in his backside, it is alleged.
Another indecent dealing act allegedly occurred in 1981, when the boy was in Year 10 and at a school sports afternoon at another school.
Endicott allegedly took the boy to a pool change room and asked him to strip naked before he took photos of the boy as he was showering and drying off.
The trial is continuing.