Ex-priest in NSW court over abuse of boys

·3-min read

A former Catholic priest who sexually exploited boys in poor Asian countries spoke of how he could "milk the max out of my poolside weekend".

Peter Andrew Hansen also lamented the possibility the King of Thailand would die "before I get there and everything is shut".

The former Melbourne priest, Labor Party official and lawyer has pleaded guilty in the NSW District Court in Sydney to 31 charges.

They include producing child pornography in Vietnam and the Philippines, distributing child exploitation material and engaging in sexual activity with nine boys.

The now 63-year-old fluent Vietnamese speaker was arrested at Sydney airport in October 2018 on his way back from Vietnam.

He appeared via audio-visual link from prison on Thursday as Judge James Bennett outlined his offending during his lengthy sentencing remarks .

The judge said Hansen had not only possessed the images but had travelled to the two countries to exploit children in limited economic circumstances, rewarding them with modest sums.

"He is one of the base individuals who created abhorrent products for his own sexual pleasure, using children made vulnerable by circumstances in their homeland."

He referred to online encrypted exchanges between Hansen and a person called "Maliboy Hornbag".

Hansen sent images of boys and said he was "hoping to keep the camera running" in the Philippines.

"I am still thinking of how I can milk the max out of my poolside weekend".

He referred to news about the health of the King of Thailand.

"With my bloody luck, he dies before I get there and everything is shut" and he hoped he "lasts long enough for me to get about".

Maliboy Hornbag warned him not to overspend, saying "they become greedy, that is what Manila is like now".

Hansen replied not only would he not overspend, "I can't".

His offending included paying sums - sometimes the equivalent of $7.50 - to boys to pose for pornographic photos in his hotel rooms, and engage in sexual activity with other boys or with him.

Hansen told Maliboy Hornbag the most he would pay the boys was 250 to 300 pesos plus a gift, outing and food.

But for "an outstanding performance" and "for those I really like I might pump up to 500 the most".

The judge said the "abhorrent nature of the commentary" in the messages illuminated Hansen's attitude towards his "egregious misconduct".

More than 100,000 pornographic files were found on his devices, dating back to 2008 and as recent as 2018.

A local intermediary had sent him photos of boys on Facebook, under the pretence of carrying out modelling shoots, and Hansen would tell him the ones he wanted to meet.

Hansen served as a Catholic priest in the Melbourne Archdiocese until he resigned in 2011. He has an adopted son in Vietnam and has volunteered in overseas detention centres

He gave evidence at his sentence hearing saying he was ashamed of himself and "the guilt weighs heavy on me".

"I didn't only exploit their age, I exploited the fact they came from a poor Asian country," he admitted.

His sentencing will continue on Friday.

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