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Captain Lawrence Wilson: Child Abuse at the Salvation Army

Captain Lawrence Wilson was identified as one of the most egregious offenders of child sexual and physical abuse within the Salvation Army institutions in Australia. According to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Wilson was accused of abusing 17 boys at four different institutions between 1957 and 1974.

The institutions at which Lawrence Wilson was abusing children included:

  • Riverview Training Farm in Queensland,
  • Gill Memorial Home in New South Wales,
  • Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys in Indooroopilly, and
  • Bexley Boys’ Home in New South Wales.

The Royal Commission concluded that Wilson frequently used cruel and excessive physical punishment against the boys under his care. Despite allegations of sexual abuse, the Salvation Army did not keep records of Wilson’s performance, including any allegations against him or their resolutions.

Furthermore, the Salvation Army did not investigate allegations against Wilson related to Gill Memorial Home, and no action was taken against him for inappropriate medical examinations involving sexualized conduct.

Wilson resigned from the Salvation Army in September 1982 without ever facing disciplinary action by the organization for the abuse.

Between 1996 and 1998, charges were laid against Wilson by the NSW Police for the sexual abuse of five boys at Bexley Boys’ Home and Gill Memorial Home. However, there is also a record of Wilson being acquitted on all charges in a trial that took place in the 1990s.

If you or anyone you know has been impacted by abuse perpetrated by Captain Wilson or anyone else under the auspice of the Salvation Army, the historical institutional child sexual abuse specialist lawyers are ready and waiting at Koffels Solicitors and Barristers to call you back whenever it is most convenient for you.

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