January 25, 2005

Shortest possible sentence for priest convicted of indecent assault

Sydney Morning Herald

By Natasha Wallace
January 26, 2005

A Sydney Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting an adult man 22 years ago, when homosexual sex was illegal, has received an extremely rare, and short, sentence.

Terence Norman Goodall, 64, was yesterday sentenced to a "rising of the court" for fondling the genitals of a 29-year-old Catholic teacher at a Cronulla public pool after the two had shared a candlelit dinner.

Such a sentence, which places a person in custody until the judge adjourns the matter (normally immediately, as in this case), was imposed in fewer than 1 per cent of cases in the District Court, the NSW Judicial Commission said. Between July 1997 and June 2004 there were no such sentences for indecent assault.

Goodall was charged under pre-1984 legislation, which meant consent was irrelevant in the case.

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2005 08:29 AM