Ex-chaplain to face sex abuse trial

AAP, Australia/June 28, 2006

A former chaplain at one of Adelaide top boys' schools will face trial accused of sexually abusing a student after failing to have a committal decision overturned.

The Full Court of the South Australian Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to overturn John Mountford's committal to stand trial on five charges of indecent assault, one of unlawful sexual intercourse and two of procuring the commission of an act of gross indecency.

Mountford appealed to the full court after Justice Anthony Besanko, sitting alone in the Supreme Court, earlier this year rejected his application to overturn his committal.

Tuesday's decision means Mountford, 50, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, is likely to go on trial in the SA District Court next year.

Mountford is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1991 and 1992, when he was a chaplain at St Peter's College in Adelaide, where the boy was a student.

The allegations were detailed in an independent report in 2004 into the handling of sex abuse claims in the Anglican Church.

The report forced the resignation of then Adelaide Anglican archbishop Ian George because it revealed Dr George met with Mountford on the day he fled to Thailand in 1992.

Mountford was extradited to Australia last year. He is now living in the community on bail.

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