Defrocked Catholic priest David Rapson, dubbed a ‘sadist’ by his victims, has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for sexually abusing six boys in Victoria during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
The Melbourne County Court heard the boys were as young as 11 or 12 when Rapson abused them at the boarding school at which he taught.
The judge described Rapson as a “sexual predator seeking sexual fulfilment at the expense of young boys”.
He said Rapson displayed “cruelty and violence bordering on being sadistic”.
One of Rapson’s victims, who wanted to only be known as his first name Ben, said the verdict represented closure for him.
“I’m glad it’s finally over. It’s taken a big toll on us all and hopefully it’s the last of it and we can move on as best we can,” he said.
“It’s impacted my life in a big way – crime, drug abuse, things like that – and because he held the position he held in the church I couldn’t tell my parents or anyone like that what happened until probably four years ago.
“He’s just a sadist, a disgusting person and human being.”
The former Catholic cleric was jailed for 13 years in 2013, but was bailed 12 months later when the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed his rape and sexual assault convictions because of an administrative error.
Rapson will be eligible for parole in 2023.
—with ABC and agencies.