McKenna ready to talk on sex abuse
McKenna ready to talk on sex abuse

Lawyers working for the inquiry into systemic child sex abuse at a State-run hostel in Katanning have interviewed the hostel's paedophile warden, Dennis John McKenna, in Acacia Prison.

McKenna's father Doug said his son co-operated with the inquiry at a two-hour meeting on Thursday and revealed how a senior public official in the town decided to sit on one boy's allegations of sexual assault.

But the 67-year-old, who is serving six years for molesting male hostel boarders between 1975 and 1990, has challenged evidence at the hearings before retired judge Peter Blaxell.

Mr McKenna, 87, said one of the two lawyers told his son that Mr Blaxell wanted his side of what happened. "They're going to organise a room at Acacia and Judge Blaxell is going up there to see Dennis," Mr McKenna said.

"Dennis can help them," he said. "He knows who things were reported to. He told them everything he knew.

"They asked him about some evidence at the hearings and he said most of it was exaggerated."

Premier Colin Barnett called the inquiry into how McKenna got away with sexual abuse at St Andrew's hostel for 15 years. Police are also investigating new allegations from former hostel boarders.

The inquiry has heard from public servants, parents and victims that complaints as early as 1976 were ignored.

Mr McKenna said his son was asked about Freemasonry in Katanning during his time there and McKenna confirmed the father of one victim was a Freemason who did not want publicity about his son being abused.

_The Weekend West _has learnt that hostel board members and other community leaders were in the town's Freemasons lodge.

A spokesman for the Blaxell inquiry said investigations were ongoing.

He said the inquiry would not comment on particular lines of the investigation or who it had spoken to.

The West Australian

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