Wednesday, October 01, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Priest faces 37 more child sex charges

A CATHOLIC priest accused of sexually abusing boys aged as young as 11 in the New South Wales Hunter region will face 37 additional charges.

John Sidney Denham, 66, now faces a total of 67 child sex-related charges, relating to alleged offences dating from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s, after police today added to his alleged crimes.

He appeared today in Newcastle Local Court via videolink before Magistrate Michael Morahan.

Mr Denham was first charged in August with 28 counts of indecent assault of a male, a charge of buggery and one charge of attempted indecent assault of a male, relating to 18 boys at various Catholic parishes in the region.

The new charges allegedly involve 13 other boys, and include sexual assault, indecent assault and solicit male or incite male to commit an indecent act.

The white-haired Mr Denham, who has been in custody since his arrest, expressed no emotion during his brief court appearance.

He did not apply for bail and Mr Morahan adjourned the matter until November 12 in the same court.

"Thirty-seven charges is a lot of charges," Mr Morahan noted.

Police allege the assaults took place at St Pius X High School at Adamstown in the late 1970s. Further assaults allegedly occurred in the Charlestown parish in 1980 and the Taree parish in 1981.

The new charges against Mr Denham, which involve 13 additional boys, allegedly happened during the same years at the same locations. But one boy was allegedly assaulted from 1968 to 1971 at Granville, while another boy was allegedly assaulted at Taree in 1986.

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