Rae Wilson

Round two of hearing into Salvation Army abuse failures

ROUND two of an inquiry into the Salvation Army's systematic failure in handling complaints of child sex abuse has begun in Sydney.

The hearing follows on from last month's inquiry into four of the army's boys' homes in Queensland and NSW where children were subjected to abuse at the hands of five major perpetrators between the end of the Second World War and the early '80s.

One of those - Major John McIver - is expected to be the focus of at least one further serious complaint in the current hearing, which Counsel Assisting Simeon Beckett told the commission would look at how the army has handled historic and more recent claims.

He said the 10th case study carried out by the commission since last year will also consider the way in which claims were specifically handled against two Salvation Army officers - John Lane and Colin Hagar.

In contrast to the previous hearing, which focussed only on the sexual abuse of boys, the complaints against those officers related to the abuse of girls.

Thursday's hearing began much like the previous hearings - with haunting evidence from a child abuse survivor.

JF, as the witness is referred to, told the commission Captain X19 had choked and raped him while he was living at the Indooroopilly boys' home.

The commission heard that when JF first complained about the abuse, he was expected to be offered $70,000 in compensation but that the officer had disputed the facts and the amount was reduced to $30,000.

Mr Beckett said the commission would explore whether JF was given the opportunity to provide further evidence.

He also said letters had been sent to both Colin Haggar and John McIver and neither had applied for leave to appear.


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