Former Anglican priest on trial in Perth for molesting boys

Former Anglican priest on trial in Perth for molesting boys November 24, 2016

Raymond Sydney Cheek, above, is facing charges of molesting five boys, one of whom was told that it was ‘church tradition’ for a priest to dress altar boys.
According to this report, Perth District Court was told that Cheek, 84, warned one of his victims not to tell anyone about being molested because:

God doesn’t care for liars.

Cheek alleged abused the boys between 1955 and 1985.
Four of the men came forward in recent years when it became known that Cheek had been charged over an incident that allegedly occurred in  1985.
That victim claims Cheek undressed him and rubbed his body against him when he was 15-years-old.
The next day, Cheek allegedly told the boy he should keep what had happened to himself because God doesn’t like liars.
Cheek was the Anglican parish priest in Williams at the time.
The other men were allegedly fondled by Cheek between 1955 and 1976 during dealings with him through churches in Ravensthorpe and Albany and the Wembley scouts.
Prosecutor Alan Dungey told the members of the jury they may come to the conclusion that Cheek had a sexual interest in boys and adolescent males.
He said there were “remarkable” similarities between the victim’s complaints.

These men did not know each other, they have never met each other. Their dealings with Raymond Cheek are decades apart.
There are some memories that remain vivid no matter how much time has passed.

Cheek pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecently dealing with a child under age 14, two counts of indecent assault and one count of committing an act of gross indecency with a male person.
Defence lawyer Michael Perrella said prejudice loomed large in the case given there was currently an “unprecedented amount” of publicity around institutional sexual abuse.
He told the jury the passage of time was an important factor to consider when assessing the reliability and accuracy of witnesses.
Two of the alleged victims said they were altar boys when they were molested.
One man claims he was just eight when Cheek fondled him after telling him it was church tradition for the parish priest to dress altars boys.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • cnocspeireag

    The sun in the picture gave it away. It’s not the original Perth at all. I did wonder what an Anglican priest was doing in Scotland.

  • Peterat

    Barry: where was the “Priest-Off“?

  • Newspaniard

    Is that a Scout emblem on his jacket?

  • AgentCormac

    ‘Defence lawyer Michael Perrella said prejudice loomed large in the case given there was currently an “unprecedented amount” of publicity around institutional sexual abuse.’
    That’ll be because there has been an unprecedented amount of institutional sexual abuse. And it is disingenuous to suggest that Cheek wouldn’t get a fair trial just because people are aware that a large number of his colleagues have been found guilty of exactly the same crime.

  • jay

    @AgentCormac ” And it is disingenuous to suggest that Cheek wouldn’t get a fair trial just because people are aware that a large number of his colleagues have been found guilty of exactly the same crime.”
    One still needs to careful, though, each case needs to be evaluated separately. Consider charges against an ethnic minority person from a neighborhood where that minority is dominant and there is a lot of crime — his guilt should not ride on what his neighbors or his cousins are doing. It should not be influenced by the public perception of the neighborhood, even if the perception is true.
    Philadelphia has been notorious because of the priest abuse problems, but also there have now come out some opportunists who figure any priest in Philadelphia is an easy legal mark for a juicy lawsuit. One recent case involves a guy who, it turns out, has a history of criminal activity and lying to police. The case started to come apart when his stories just couldn’t be coordinated with reality (timing,location, circumstances, changes in story, etc)
    Criminal priests must be prosecuted, but not every priest is guilty of these actions.

  • AgentCormac

    @jay
    Agree entirely. However, the report states that there were remarkable similarities between the victims’ complaints, that the men never knew each other and that their dealings with Cheek were decades apart. So while a fair trial is absolutely essential, to me it sounds like the defence is clutching at straws by insinuating that such a fair trial might not be possible because of publicity surrounding similar cases.

  • Take a peek at Cheek. Eek! He looks like a pederast–and so, disturbingly, do many of his co-religionists.

  • Robster

    The way it’s going, soon the church corporations will be buying ad space to promote their innocent clerics, that is if there are any.

  • Geepers

    Interesting comments. I attended one day of the trial as a member of the public. 5 Aussie blokes who have had their innocence stolen. Listening to some of their testimonies was horrific. Defence lawyer tried suggesting there was another priest who worked in the area around that time period who was actually responsible and who has been convicted of similar crimes in South Australia. Fancy insulting the intelligence of the complainants to suggest all of them had a case of “mistaken identity”.Specially when one of the victims had known Cheek all his life.Jury is out for the weekend. I suppose we will have a result on Monday.