SYDNEY, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A 78-year-old Catholic priest was sentenced Friday to eight years in an Australian prison for sexual assaults on girls going back to the 1960s.
The Rev. Finian Egan must spend at least four years behind bars before he is eligible for parole, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Egan was a respected and prominent priest in Sydney for many years, the Herald said. He escaped investigation until 2010 when a woman reported he had raped her in 1987 when she was 17.
Egan was convicted earlier this year of seven counts of indecent assault and one of rape.
One woman said Egan assaulted her when she was 10 and living at St. Martha's Institution For Disadvantaged Girls at Leichhardt. She said when she told the nuns at the home what had happened she was punished for lying.
She said Egan told her she had beautiful hair and she asked a nun to cut it off.
"I thought if I didn't have nice hair he wouldn't be interested in grabbing hold of me," she said.
Judge Robyn Tupman said the nuns might have prevented the other assaults if they had been willing to listen to the girl.