Paedophile Priest released from prison today after only 14 months for historic sexual abuse of two altar boys with church 'concealing the evidence'

Vincent Ryan – known as the ‘Paedophile Priest’ – already served 14 years behind bars for the sexual abuse of 35 boys, aged six to 14, between 1972 and 1991.

One of Ryan’s victims even committed suicide.

And now he has only served 14 months of a three year sentence in Sydney’s Long Bay prison in Australia.

The Catholic priest, who worked in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese in the New South Wales district, was serving time for the crimes committed against two boys at the end of last century.

Reports also suggest the church knew about Ryan’s crimes and covered them up and that he was even promoted in the 1980s to the position of parish priest.

Detectives discovered the church’s cover-up of Ryan when they investigated Ryan in 1995 for sex-crimes spanning 20 years.

Two victims, who were victims of Ryan in their childhood, met at a funeral in 1995 and decided to out him after what they had done to them both.

In court appearances in 1996 and 1997, Ryan pleaded guilty to multiple offences against young boys, including sexual intercourse by anal and oral penetration, plus multiples charges of indecent assault by genital touching.

By 1997, he had been sentenced to a total of 16 years’ jail, with a minimum of 11 years.

According to court evidence at the time by Senior Detective Troy Grant (of the Major Crimes Squad, the officer in charge of the investigation), the boys had been abusedmore than two hundred times during six years from the age of ten.

The abuse included anal and oral penetration as well as masturbation.

Ryan also provided the boys with pornographic material to sexually stimulate them.

Shockingly, after Ryan was sentenced, Bishop Michael Malone, who took over the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in 1995, said that if Ryan wanted to leave the church that would be ‘his decision and not ours.’

And after Ryan’s release in 2010, he was still ‘technically a priest’ and was provided accommodation by the diocese.

On 27 April 2016, Vincent Gerard Ryan (aged 78) appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court, charged with multiple sexual offences which were committed against a boy at East Gresford, near Dugong, when the victim was aged between 13 and 15.

The charges included three counts of attempted intercourse with a child, three counts of indecent assault of a child, and three counts of gross indecency against a child.

Ryan pleaded guilty to three charges, including an act of gross indecency and attempting sexual intercourse with the boy. Following his guilty plea, the remaining charges were dropped.

Because of Ryan’s guilty plea, the court merely had to conduct the sentence proceedings. At a pre-sentence hearing on 15 August 2016, the court heard extracts from a written statement by the victim, in which he said: “I could not say no to someone as important as a priest”.

The victim also felt that he couldn’t tell anyone about the priest’s offences as he would not be believed, particularly by his grandfather who believed Ryan “was a very good man”.

On 14th October 2016, the court gave Vincent Ryan a 15-month jail sentence which was suspended. The judge noted the 14-year sentence already served by Ryan for similar child sexual abuse that occurred in the same decade.

And now the 82-year-old was granted parole last week after a pre-release report stated “the offender has demonstrated excellent prison performance” and a sentencing judge found the offender has “positive prospects of rehabilitation” upon his release from Sydney’s Long Bay Prison.

Scott Hallett and Gerard McDonald, who gave evidence before Newcastle Court in 2016, in which they described how Ryan gave them wine as nine-year-old altar boys before subjecting them to horrific sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s in the NSW Hunter region, have described their pain and again.

Mr Hallett, 55, described being “overcome with anger” when he found out about Ryan’s upcoming release while holidaying with his wife and three children at Surfers Paradise.

“He is just an evil man, very calculating — I don’t think the guy even thinks he’s done anything wrong by pure fact that he is still able to be called a priest,” he said.

“I mean he has been convicted of that many crimes.”

“How can he walk around with a collar on when he is a convicted child abuser.”

Ryan was driven from Long Bay Jail at 6am. His whereabouts are not known, however, he is prohibited from returning to the Hunter Region of Australia.

A spokesperson for Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright said the Catholic Church would not be financially supporting Ryan.


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