Former Burnie Marist College priest sentenced to four years’ prison over historic sex abuse
A priest who worked at the Marist College in northern Tasmania in the 1960s has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to historic sex crimes.
- Thomas Fulcher pleaded guilty earlier this month to three counts of indecent assault
- His two victims reported the abuse during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
- Fulcher has been sentenced to four years jail with a minimum non-parole period of two years
He will serve a minimum non-parole period of two years.
Thomas Fulcher pleaded guilty in the Burnie Supreme Court earlier this month to three counts of indecent assault.
The court heard there were two complainants, both students at the school during the time Fulcher was the Marist College priest between 1960 and 1967.
The two victims, now aged in their 60s, came forward and reported the abuse during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Fulcher, now aged 84, admitted he had made one boy perform a sex act in front of him and had also touched him on the genitals.
The priest then put on his confessional robes and took the boy’s confession about what had just happened.
Fulcher told the second boy to drop his pants so he could check that he was “normal”, then performed a sex act on him.
The victim told police that at the time he was abused, he had been taught you could not refuse do to what a priest told you to do.
Fulcher was ordained as a Catholic priest in July 1959 and the Catholic Church still lists him as a practising priest.
In a statement, Adrian Drane — the current principal of Marist Regional College, which was formerly named Marist College — said the case was “a reminder of the mislaid trust placed in some individuals, and is a dark part of Marist Regional College’s history”.
“One can only imagine the hurt, betrayal and absolute devastation of the survivors of abuse and their families,” he said.
More to come.