Posted on 24 Aug 2018
A former Boys Town resident has taken action against the Engadine home after suffering traumatic sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic brother.
Senior Slater and Gordon Lawyer Melinda Griffiths, who has supported numerous historical sexual abuse victims, is representing Darcy Toner, 83, who was targeted by a man who were charged to care for him.
Ms Griffiths said the horrific abuse had permanently scarred Mr Toner, altering the course of his life forever.
She said unfortunately she had not been surprised at the number and of the case, as she had worked on a number of historical sexual abuse cases relating to Boys Town over the past two decades.
“No one should have to go through what he has experienced,” Ms Griffiths said.
“It is an evil betrayal of trust as well as an opportunistic way for these people to harm children who deserve nothing less than compassion and care.”
Mr Toner was brought to Boys Town in 1942 after his professional boxer father was unable to pursue his career and care for him at the same time.
He arrived at the home at the age of seven and was almost instantly subject to physical and sexual abuse by one particular brother who would abuse him out of sight and often lock him in a linen closet for days on end.
The brother was eventually moved away from the home but the scars of Mr Toner’s experience have stayed with him for more than 60 years. The father of 11 said he felt unable to talk about his experience at the home until his most recent partner, a passionate Catholic woman, died late last year.
“I have a photographic memory, which has made the memories worse,” Mr Toner said. “I can’t put it behind me, I was so young. It has had such an impact on my life.
“How this was allowed to happen to me was disgraceful and I’ve had to wear these scars for my entire life, they will never go away.
“But I’m very lucky to have a very supportive family, my children have been great.”