A court docket in New South Wales on Thursday dominated in favor of Wilson, saying there was affordable doubt the clergyman had ever dedicated the crime, in accordance with a press release from New South Wales Courts.
The 68-year-old Wilson had been the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to be convicted of overlaying up intercourse abuse. He prevented jail after a court docket earlier sentenced him to house detention beneath his sister’s custody.
Wilson was an assistant priest when Fletcher, a Catholic priest based mostly within the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, abused altar boys within the mid-1970s.
Prosecutors had argued the Archbishop did not report the abuse to authorities, permitting Fletcher to stay within the clergy and abuse different youngsters.
Wilson and Fletcher went their separate methods after 1976. Wilson then start his climb by the church’s hierarchy, an assent which took him to the position of Archbishop of Adelaide in 2001.
Fletcher was by no means charged with any offending referring to his conduct in 1976. Nevertheless, in 2004, Fletcher was convicted of eight counts of kid abuse and later sentenced to 10 years in jail. The eight expenses have been dedicated between 1989 and 1991.
Fletcher died in jail in 2006. Wilson was charged in 2015, accused of failing to report Fletcher’s abuse to police.
The case comes as Australia continues to be grappling with historic accusations of kid intercourse abuse within the nation’s Catholic Church, which has been topic to quite a few investigations together with a Royal Fee.
The Church mentioned it will settle for “98%” of suggestions made by a high-level authorities inquiry into little one sexual abuse, which uncovered surprising accounts of widespread abuse inside Australian spiritual establishments.
However church leaders mentioned that they’d preserve the sanctity of confession, arguing to take away it will infringe on spiritual liberties.