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SA abuse allegations 'not kept secret'

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Parents in South Australia were not told their children might have been victims of sexual abuse after two inquiries into a school bus driver were shelved, a royal commission has heard.

But Detective Sergeant Leonid Mosheev said he would not have instructed the limited number of parents who knew of the possible abuse to keep it secret, saying it would have been illogical.

He was continuing his evidence in Adelaide on Wednesday at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The hearing is focused on the Catholic St Ann’s Special School and its bus driver and volunteer, Brian Perkins, who sexually abused intellectually disabled boys between 1986 and 1991.

READ MORE: Senior police officer ‘shut down’ abuse inquiry

The commission has heard claims that a small number of parents were told in 1991 not to disclose to others that Perkins was suspected of abusing students as it could hamper investigations.

Parents of other victims were not told of allegations until about a decade later.

Mosheev said he went to Perkins’ home on August 21, 1991, and seized two canisters of film later found to contain photos of naked students.

The detective went on sick leave soon afterwards and, on his return in December, was told the investigation had ceased as Perkins could not be located.

He was arrested in 1993 and later skipped bail after another investigation into his activities was stopped by an assistant police commissioner.

Mosheev agreed that, had the investigations not been stopped, parents of possible sex victims would almost definitely have been informed.

He said documents refuted a suggestion he told the school principal not to tell other families, adding it would be absurd to keep the allegations from them as police had to establish if there were other victims.

Perkins was not extradited to South Australia until 2002 and died in prison in 2009 after being jailed for 10 years in 2003 after pleading guilty to sex offences.

The hearing continues.

 

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