Two previous complaints were made to the Order of Malta regarding volunteers who abused young people
Two separate complaints were made to the Order of Malta regarding a volunteer allegedly sexually assaulting a young man in the ambulance corps, before the man used his position in organizing first aid to abuse two young men.
Scott Browne, from Ko Kildare, was jailed for 9 years in 2020 for sexually abusing two 15-year-olds in separate incidents in May 2018. Adolescents lost consciousness using heavy drugs to relieve the pain stolen from the order.
The court heard how Browne, then 27, used his position of trust in organizing first aid to target and abuse the two boys.
Internal correspondence, reported by The Irish Times, reveals that a complaint was made to the Order of Malta about Browne allegedly using first aid medication for drugs and then sexually assaulting an unconscious 18-year-old volunteer, six months before he was harassed. to both. 15 year old boys.
At the end of 2017 a volunteer reported that he had been approached by a group of teenage members from the Browne unit who had raised serious concerns. One of the juvenile “cadets” revealed that he saw Browne allegedly drugged and then sexually assaulted an 18-year-old male volunteer.
The alleged attack took place after Browne had administered propofol, an anesthetic, to the volunteer while socializing at home with the alleged victim and two 16-year-old cadets. The alleged victim was aware that the drug could “bind him” and made it clear to the group that no one should “touch” him while he was unconscious. The complaint alleged that after the young man lost consciousness Browne began sexually assaulting him.
It is understood that a Garda investigation into the alleged assault is one of many other cases against Browne that is at an advanced stage. The group also revealed an alleged previous incident in which Browne had administered propofol to a friend, who was a minor, and separately alleged that a female adult volunteer was having sex with a 17-year-old cadet.
The Irish Times previously reported that another 18-year-old volunteer had complained about the order in 2015, alleging that he had been orally raped by Browne during a trip to Lourdes. In that case the alleged victim said that he was told that his allegation had been investigated internally but no action could be taken.
Internal emails show that John Wright, the current national director of the Malta Ambulance Corps (OMAC), was aware of the 2017 complaint, as well as a number of other senior volunteers.
Discussing how he should respond in an email of 11 December 2017, Mr Wright said “as allegations of sexual abuse are serious and have occurred outside the OMAC this should be reported to the Garda in first instance “.
Mary McGinty, a then-child protection officer, said the allegation was a “very serious matter” and needed to be reported to authorities in accordance with child protection laws.
Mark Glennon, assistant regional director, wrote in a subsequent email that he had contacted members but did not want to take the complaints forward.
The volunteer who reported the disclosure similarly informed senior officials that some of the teens were “terrified” of the consequences of filing formal complaints.
About six months later, Browne sexually abused two 15-year-olds in an accident two weeks apart, with a Garda investigation opened shortly afterwards when one of the boys reported the abuse. Despite complaints about Browne in 2015 and 2017, he was only removed from the Order of Malta after the 2018 Garda investigation into the abuse of 2018 was opened, sources said.
Another former Kildare Co-volunteer, Jordan Murphy, pleaded guilty this month to helping and continuing Browne to abuse the two 15-year-olds. He was imprisoned for 5 and a half years. The Order of Malta has launched an internal investigation, which is expected to examine how the previous complaints have been dealt with.