News

Former principal accused of indecent assault

FORMER Trinity Catholic College Lismore principal Brother Peter Pemble will face court over the alleged historic indecent assault of a boy.

When detectives from Strike Force Georgiana received information in 2013 about an alleged indecent assault involving a child, an investigation was launched.

At the time, Br Pemble was studying in Belgium at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and writing regular columns for the Marist Schools Australia MSA newsletter.

Sometime after writing his May 2014 column for the MSA newsletter, 66-year-old Br Pemble returned to Australia and was questioned by detectives from Central Hunter and Lake Macquarie Local Area Commands, at Surry Hills police station, on July 22.

FACING COURT: Br Peter Pemble.
FACING COURT: Br Peter Pemble.

Officers questioned Br Pemble about the alleged indecent assault of a boy at Maitland between 1971 and 1972.

Br Pemble was then charged with three counts of indecent assault of a male and granted strict conditional bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court onThursday.

Br Peter Carroll, who replaced Br Pemble as principal at Trinity and is now working in the Marist Brothers Professional Standards office, issued this statement:

"Brother Peter Pemble was principal of Trinity Catholic College Lismore from January 2001 to December 2007.

"In July 2014 he was charged with an alleged indecent assault at Maitland in the early 1970s.

"This matter is now being dealt with by the appropriate legal processes.

"Br Peter Pemble and the Marist Brothers are co-operating fully with the authorities.

"This is a difficult and stressful time for all involved.

"We hope and pray for a speedy and just resolution to the issue."

The statement went on to say the Marist Brothers and Marist institutions were committed to the highest standards of professional conduct and to clear protocols for dealing with any complaints.

Police investigators from Strike Force Georgiana encourage any victim of any indecent or sexual assault, no matter how long ago, to come forward or phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Complaints about professional standards or conduct could by directed to the Marist Brothers Professional Standards Office by phoning 02 8752 8204 or emailing professionalstandards@marists.org.au.

Topics:  editors picks, sexual assault, trinity catholic college lismore



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