FORMER Anglican Dean of Newcastle Graeme Russell Lawrence has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in the Hunter in 1991.
Mr Lawrence, 75, of Kotara, appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault on a victim under the age of 16 years and one count of aggravated indecent assault on a victim under the age of 16 years. His solicitor, John Anthony, indicated Mr Lawrence would be pleading not guilty to all charges.
Mr Lawrence’s arrest last month came after a referral in 2016 from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Lawrence, who was defrocked in 2012, had denied child sex allegations during questioning at the royal commission public hearing in Newcastle.
The matter was adjourned to February 14 next year so the brief of evidence could be served on Mr Anthony.
Mr Lawrence, who remains on conditional bail, was excused from attending court on the next occasion.