Is this child sex offender too old for jail?

Former St Johns College Woodlawn teacher James Doran has been found guilty of committing a series of sex crimes against students.
Former St Johns College Woodlawn teacher James Doran has been found guilty of committing a series of sex crimes against students. Rodney Stevens

HE COMMITTED dozens of sex crimes against students under his care, but former boarding school principal James Sampson Doran is unlikely to ever see a jail cell.

The St John's College Woodlawn educator pleaded not guilty to offences ranging from sexual assault and indecency to having homosexual intercourse with a student.

Sydney District Court Judge Robert Toner said he found Doran's declarations of his innocence "unconvincing" while the evidence from 10 former students was fair and compelling.

The court heard Doran would regularly take students off campus for "coffee and a chat" and befriended the boys he taught before taking advantage of them during the 1970s and 1980s.

Multiple former students, whose anonymity has been protected, recalled going on excursions with Doran, arriving at a hotel with too few beds and being encouraged to bunk in with him.

On one occasion, Doran told a student he loved and would miss him after the Year 12 graduation ceremony and had sex with him at a motel.

Doran rejected an accusation he told a student he loved him before taking him to an abandoned room behind the school's chapel to engage in homosexual acts, noting the room was consecrated and "I'm not sacrilegious".

The Marist Fathers school's former discipline master Richard O'Connor last year received a 10-year jail sentence for his part in often violent sexual assaults during the 1970s and 1980s.

Despite his guilty verdict, Doran will have to wait until the court resumes on January 30 to discover his fate.

Judge Toner said Doran's age and medical conditions meant he would be likely to escape a prison term.

The court has banned media from revealing Doran's current address or the town where he now lives.


Topics:  catholic church child sex james sampson doran woodlawn

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