Man denies Church paid for evidence

A man who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a former Catholic priest as a teenager said the priest's claim that he was paid by the Church for evidence was "absolute rubbish" and wanted the case taken up by the royal commission.

The man, who asked not to be named, denied a claim by former Wollongong priest John Gerard Nestor, 50, that he was paid to provide evidence in a 1997 court case, alleging he was sexually assaulted by the then priest at his home in 1991.

Mr Nestor was a priest in the Wollongong diocese in NSW when he was charged with the indecent assault of the then 14-year-old altar boy.

The magistrate found Mr Nestor guilty and sentenced him to jail but, in October 1997, the conviction was overturned on appeal - in part because of doubts cast on the accuracy of the boy's evidence - and Mr Nestor never served any time behind bars.

In an interview in February, Mr Nestor alleged that the Church had paid the alleged victim following the court case's conclusion.

"I suspect - and I have reason to say it, I don't know it [for sure] - that he was promised money in return for giving evidence against me, by the Church or officials of the Church," he said.

But in a statement, the alleged victim, who is now in his 30s, dismissed the claim and said the only support he received was counselling from the Church.

"Neither myself nor any member of my family received any sort of payment from the Church," he said.

"Why would the Church pay us? What did the Church have to gain by paying me?"

"I can only consider his claim as a desperate attempt to clutch at straws."

The Catholic Church never allowed Mr Nestor to return to ministry, because it sourced "significant additional material" relating to further complaints made against him.

"The royal commission can do a lot of good by providing victims with a sense of justice they may otherwise never have felt," the alleged victim said. AAP

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