A FORMER priest has been committed to trial for historic child sex abuse, facing a total of 76 charges.
In a committal hearing yesterday afternoon, Magistrate Karen Stafford ruled there was significant evidence for a jury to convict the defrocked priest of an indictable offence.
The hearing related to three counts of sexual assault of a person under 16-years-of-age and brought five witnesses before the Armidale Local Court.
The witness list included an alleged victim, his mother and a detective senior constable.
The court heard the victim informed his mother and partner of the alledged assault upon hearing a radio program’s segment about the priest and partaking in an interview on the show.
The court was closed while the alleged victim, a former alter boy, gave his evidence with the man being cross-examined for more than an hour.
The former priest had entered a plea of guilty to 45 of the offences before him when appearing in court in August, however did not instruct the court of a plea in relation to the three charges being dealt with yesterday.
The matter will return to court on February 4 in 2015, when a date for the trial is likely to be set.
The crown prosecutor requested a non-publication order preventing the accused’s name from being revealed be overturned in light of the matter going to trial, however the magistrate denied this request as the defence had not be notified of the application.