Ex-Trinity teacher arrested over child sex charges
THE Trinity Catholic College community is in shock after a former teacher was arrested overseas on child abuse charges.
The Khmer Times has reported Garry Paul Mulroy was arrested in Cambodia on Tuesday.
The 69-year-old has been accused of sexually abusing six boys aged between 11 and 14 in Siem Reap city, the paper has reported.
Police have alleged Mr Mulroy gave the six boys, who are from disadvantaged families, food and money in exchange for sex at his Siem Reap home.
Trinity principal Brother John Hilet said the school knew "very little" about the allegations, which came as a shock.
He said Mr Mulroy had a positive reputation among staff and past students.
"We were shocked," Br John said.
"(We are) obviously saddened, but it literally came out of nowhere for us.
"I've spoken to a large number of ex-students who saw Garry as being a pivotal person in their upbringing.
"I think that's why people are shocked.
"You're shocked in any situation like this ... (but) certainly there's a large group of former students who would all think highly of him."
Br John confirmed Mr Mulroy had been involved with the school's trips to Cambodia, where they work with local organisations, both during his employment at Trinity and in a volunteer capacity since moving to Cambodia several years ago.
Students were due to return to the south-east Asian country later this year, but since hearing of the allegations on Friday, Br John said he had cancelled this trip.
"The school has an overseas immersion program where staff and students go to different places," he said.
This program also includes trips to India, the Solomon Islands and Santa Teresa near Alice Springs, he said.
Mr Mulroy was instrumental in setting up the Cambodian branch of this initiative.
"He and another brother helped establish that particular immersion," Br John said.
"As soon as I was made aware of the allegations, I cancelled this year's immersion."
This year's trip would have involved six or seven Trinity students and staff, he said.
It's understood Mr Mulroy had worked at Trinity for some 35 years and left the school between three and four years ago.
Br John said he'd heard no allegations against the former teacher relating to his time at the school but said he found the matter "very distressing".
He urged anyone with information about behaviour similar to these allegations to take action.
"I'll always say, if anyone has information in regards to any sort of matters like child abuse or anything like that, please go to the police," he said.
In a written statement released by the school, Br John said Trinity "upholds the highest standards of behaviour and we have very clear policies and procedures regarding child protection".
A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed they were aware of Mr Mulroy's arrest.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to an Australian man who was detained in Cambodia," she said.
"Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment."
Siem Reap police have been approached for comment.