Sex abuse claims: Class action against former Esperance priest Father Kevin Glover

ABC - 30/03/2017

Lawyers are preparing a class action against the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury on behalf of three people who say they were sexually abused by a high-profile priest in the southern WA town of Esperance in the 1960s and '70s.

Father Kevin Glover, who died in the late 1990s, was the parish priest in Esperance but is understood to have worked at parishes throughout the South West.

It is alleged the offences took place at Our Lady of Star of the Sea church in Esperance, and also while he was visiting sick children at the Esperance District Hospital.

Jason Parkinson, from the law firm Porters, said although Glover was never convicted, it was time for people to speak up.

"We've been asking for witnesses, who may know something about Glover's activities, to come forward and help, and sadly, it's my experience that while we're acting for three people, this means there'll be dozens of victims," he said.

Mr Parkinson said Father Glover had been well-respected and well-loved within the community, and had access to vulnerable children, including young patients at the Esperance Hospital.

He said that when the Catholic Church became aware of Father Glover's offending against children, they moved him to the Solomon Islands.

Mr Parkinson said the impact of Father Glover's actions on his clients—- two men and a woman — has been long lasting.

"When you sexually assault a child, you give them a psychiatric injury which lasts a lifetime," he said.

"To have someone of the same gender, someone in the position of authority, someone with some voodoo relationship with God, sexually assaulting you, would give you a psychiatric injury that lasts until the day you die, quite sadly.

"That is depression, post-traumatic stress and everything which goes with that."

Mr Parkinson said he was preparing to launch a claim in the WA Supreme Court, but it was likely the case would be hamstrung by the existing statute of limitations for sexual abuse civil claims.

"The new Labor Party (Government) has said they're going to get rid of the statute of limitations in child abuse cases, that will be of great assistance to victims, because the statute of limitations only helps the paedophiles, and it helps the Church," he said.

The current Bishop of Bunbury Gerard Holohan, was travelling late yesterday, but said through a spokesperson that Father Glover had died before Bishop Holohan came to the diocese, and would not comment further.

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