Former priest's guilty pleas to sex charges shocks church

ABC Perth/January 22, 2003

Guilty pleas from a former Bunbury priest on child sex charges have brought expressions of shock and sadness from the local diocese of the Catholic Church.

Adrian Van Klooster was the priest at the Leshanault Catholic Church, in south-west Western Australia, until charges were laid in February last year.

Van Klooster pleaded guilty in Bunbury Magistrates Court yesterday to 17 child sex charges involving five children who attended the church.

The head of the Catholic Church in the region, Bishop Gerard Holohan, released a statement expressing distress the children have been innocent victims of crimes by a Catholic priest.

Bishop Holohan says the other bishops in the region have assured him they had never heard the slightest hint of behaviour of this nature.

Van Klooster has been remanded in custody for a psychiatric report before sentencing on May 12.

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