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80s abuse charges to Australia commission

Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM   |   Comments

CANBERRA, Australia, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Australia's national scouting organization says it has referred allegations a scout leader abused boys in the 1980s to a commission investigating child abuse.

Paul Hayes, a convicted pedophile, faces new charges that he abused eight boys over a 20-month period in Canberra and Sydney, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Thursday.

Steven Cox, who was abused, accuses Scouts Australia of covering up other abuse charges against Hayes. He said he has found internal association documents that show at least eight other complaints were lodged against Hayes.

Cox, 40, was abused by Hayes in 1984, but he did not report the assaults until 2008. He later found that Hayes had already been imprisoned for inappropriate touching of a minor in 2002.

Hayes served two more years in jail after Cox's testimony led to him being convicted in 2010 of five counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted illegal intercourse.

When the allegations against Hayes arose, Scouts Australia said the police were not notified at the requests of parents.

Reg Williams, Scouts Australia chief commissioner, denied there had been a cover-up, adding the group's actions were not unusual for the attitudes of that time.

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