A Catholic priest in court over alleged child sex abuse at a NSW boarding school

  • Article updated 1 September 2019

A Catholic priest has appeared in court in New South Wales in 2019, facing charges of sex-abuse allegedly committed against multiple children at a New South Wales country boarding school during the 1980s. Police allege that Father Anthony Caruana (now 77) indecently assaulted boys, aged 12 to 15, who were under his care when he was a dormitory manager, rugby coach and band teacher at Chevalier College, a Catholic high school near Bowral, in the NSW Southern Highlands. The case is due to have some more preliminary steps in court in late 2019.

Chevalier College was established by a Catholic religious order of priests, known as the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

The charges against Father Caruana 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.

Detectives (in the Hume Police District) launched Strike Force Caber in July 2018 to investigate reports of sexual and indecent assaults at this boarding school during the 1980s.

The police inquiries led them to arrest Father Caruana at an address in Kensington in Sydney's eastern suburbs on 12 April 2019, and he was granted bail, pending his court appearance.

The case had its first mention in Sydney's Waverley Local Court on 22 May 2019. The case was officially filed in court, with further proceedings to follow on a later date.

The court's case number is 2019/00114636.

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

In the second half of 2019, the case is having some preliminary steps in Moss Vale Local Court in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

The police investigation is being managed by the Southern Highlands Detectives Office at Moss Vale Police.