The former Bishop of Broome has been arrested and charged with alleged historic sexual offences.
Christopher Alan Saunders, 74, was arrested at his home in Piggott Way, Western Australia, on Wednesday afternoon.
He was taken to Broome police station, where he was charged with 19 offences.
Among the charges were fourteen counts of unlawful and indecent assault and two counts of sexual penetration without consent.
He was also charged with three counts of being a person in authority indecently treating a child.
Christopher Saunders, 74, was arrested at his home in Piggott Way, Western Australia, on Wednesday afternoon.
Bishop Saunders was allegedly at the center of several investigations, including one carried out by the Vatican.
The 74-year-old has always denied any accusations arising from the investigation.
He is the highest-ranking Catholic in Australia accused of sexual crimes, some of which date back 50 years.
The bishop spent the night in police custody and will appear in court on Thursday.
The alleged charges date back to 2008 in Broome, Kununurra and Kalumburu.
The charges come after five years of police and internal church investigations into sexual abuse allegations made by several men.
Police in Western Australia are believed to have launched a new investigation after a 200-page Vatican report was leaked late last year. The bishop has been accused of 19 crimes, including two of sexual penetration without consent
Although the allegations first became public in early 2020, a Western Australian Police investigation was closed without charges being laid.
Police have recently raided Bishop Saunders’ home twice.
The recent development is believed to have been sparked by a 200-page Vatican report leaked late last year.
After the report was handed over to Western Australian Police, a new investigation was launched.