Former priest Wilfred Edwin Dennis taught sex act to boy

Adelaide Now, Australia/August 25, 2009

A former Anglican priest has admitted to a court that he allowed a 12-year-old boy to masturbate in his shower but has denied he acted in any way "improper".

Wilfred Edwin Dennis, 73, of Vale Park, today told the District Court the boy had asked him about masturbating after other boys at school had told him about it.

He said he told the boy what masturbation was and allowed him to masturbate in his shower.

Dennis has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault and one count each of gross indecency and carnal knowledge relating to two altar boys in the 1970s.

He also denied telling Traditional Anglican Archbishop, John Hepworth, he had molested more then 40 boys during a telephone call in June 2002.

Phil Crowe, prosecuting, asked whether Dennis found it in "any way improper that a 12 -year-old boy was masturbating in his shower" while they were alone in the house.

Dennis said no and told the court he never had any sexual contact with either of the boys.

The trial is continuing.

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