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Priest guilty of 25 counts of indecent and sexual assault

A Catholic priest has been found guilty of 25 charges of indecent and sexual assault against 12 boys in a NSW Southern Highlands boarding school in the 1980s.

Father Anthony William Peter Caruana, 79, was alleged to have assaulted the boys when he was a dormitory manager, rugby coach and band teacher at Chevalier College, in Burradoo, between 1982 and 1988.

Anthony William Peter Caruana outside the NSW District Court.

Anthony William Peter Caruana outside the NSW District Court. Credit:Kate Geraghty

He pleaded not guilty to 29 charges and faced a six-week trial in the NSW District Court.

On the ninth day of deliberations, a jury on Tuesday found Caruana guilty of 20 counts of indecent assault, including against a person younger than 16 and under his authority, and three counts of homosexual intercourse with a student aged between 10 and 18, relating to 11 complainants.

The jury, in a note to the court, said they were “deadlocked” on four counts.

Judge Robyn Tupman asked them to retire again “to see whether you can reach unanimous verdicts”.

Later on Tuesday, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on two counts of indecent assault, relating to a 12th complainant. However, in another note, they said they had come to an “impassable deadlock on the last two”.

Judge Tupman gave them a majority direction and deliberations will continue on Wednesday.

The judge previously directed the jury to find Caruana not guilty on two of the 29 charges.

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