A Catholic priest in court in 2020 regarding children at a NSW boarding school

  • Article updated 9 April 2020

A Catholic priest, Father Anthony Caruana, aged 77, is listed for a New South Wales magistrates court during 2020, charged with indecently assaulting a number of boys, aged 12 to 15, in the 1980s when Father Caruana was on the staff of Chevalier College, a Catholic boarding school at Burradoo (near Bowral) in the NSW Southern Highlands. Chevalier College was established by a Catholic religious order of priests, known as the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. On 8 April 2020 the case had another mention in court, stating that Caruana is being charged with additional offences – bringing the total number of child sex offences to 43.

In April 2019, detectives attached to the Hume Police District – working under Strike Force Kesup – investigated allegations of sexual and indecent assaults at this boarding school during the 1980s. The investigation is being managed by the Southern Highlands Detectives Office at Moss Vale Police.

The investigation led them to arrest Father Anthony William Peter Caruana at an address in Kensington in Sydney's eastern suburbs on 12 April 2019. At this stage, Caruana was charged with nine offences.

The case had its first mention in a Local Court in Sydney on 22 May 2019, with further proceedings to follow on a later date. Caruana was granted bail, pending his next court appearances.

The charges against Father Caruana in the May 2019 procedure include:

  • multiple charges of sexual assault (category four) - assault and act of indecency person under 16 ; and
  • a number of charges of gross indecency by male with male under 18 years.

The incidents allegedly occurred between 1982 and 1988.

The court list gives the defendant's full name as Anthony William Peter CARUANA. In private life, he is known as Father Tony Caruana.

Following further investigations, Anthony Caruana was re-arrested at Southern Highlands Police Station on 1 October 2019. He was charged with an additional 18 offences (four sexual assault offences, 12 indecent assault offences, and two offences of gross indecency committed by a male). This made a total of 11 alleged victims and a total of 27 alleged offences. Caruana was given conditional bail pending his future court appearance.

The court's case numbers for the Caruana matters in 2019 were: 2019/00306697 and 2019/00114636.

At Moss Vale Local Court on 8 October 2019, Anthony Caruana appeared before a magistrate for additional charges to be officially filed. The magistrate then adjourned the matter until the next steps in the court process.

The matter had its next mention in Moss Vale Local Court on 8 April 2020, where the court was told that Caruana is being hit with 13 additional charges – bringing the total number of child sex offences to 43.

The magistrate adjourned the case for negotiations between the Director of Public Prosecutions, Caruana and his legal representatives.

No plea has been entered on all charges.

The matter is scheduled to have its next mention in the same court later in 2020.