The sordid tale of Paul Henry Dean: Rapist of disabled young boys, fake priest, fake doctor and free

The story of Paul Henry Dean reads like a Hollywood crime movie. The one man has broken so many laws and has harmed so many victims in his life that it is a wonder how is he still free. The crimes Paul Henry Dean committed are beyond horrific, worse than despicable. This is a story filled with brazen disregard for any law, emotion and conscience. What is worse is that Paul might have been successful again. He was recently convicted by a railway court in Visakhapatnam and was granted bail the same day.

Paul used fake identities. He worked with Catholic Charity Organisations and identified himself initially as an Australian professor, then as a doctor, sometimes even as a priest. Over his long years of disguised life in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, Paul reportedly abused orphan, impoverished young boys, many of them disabled.

Paul Henry Dean lived in Bunbury, Australia until 1976. He suddenly fled the country with 100,000 Dollars from the travel company he chaired and his colleagues and friends found no trace of him. He was believed to have fled to Indonesia or UK. He had used a fake passport.

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Paul’s story was put together first by ABC News correspondent Sally Sara in 2009. She traced Paul’s arrival and subsequent movements in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. What she unearthed was a chilling tale of fraud, fake identities, botched up surgeries and sexual abuse of young boys that transpired since and there were no consequences for the perpetrator.

Paul lived in Catholic charity organisations in the two states. He identified himself as Alan Rose or ‘Brother Alan’ and claimed he was an Australian professor. He watched the local doctors and soon started copying their work. Incredible as it may sound, ‘Brother Alan’ was soon performing surgeries. None of the Catholic organisations he represented bothered to check his qualifications and eligibility apparently. He even performed cataract surgeries and carried out amputations. Human life is that cheap in India.

Paul’s acts of sexual abuse first came to light when he stayed in Titilagarh, Odisha in the early 1980s. A small town that is a major Railway Junction and 6 hours away from Visakhapatnam. Paul, masquerading as a doctor, took upon him ‘helping’ young, poor boys who were paramedical trainees. The boys were all poor and many were orphans. One of the victims, Anil Kumar, a hearing and speech impaired boy, used crude sign language to express he was being sexually abused by Paul. But the charity organisation took no action and Anil hanged himself in 1985. Paul was sent back to Visakhapatnam after that.

Paul has been shielded and protected by the charity organisations he was associated with repeatedly. The people of these organisations have even referred to him as ‘a walking god’. He even used to hold mass and give sermons.

In 2001, Paul was again arrested on charges of sexual abuse and passport fraud. He was sexually abusing blind and speech/hearing impaired children in the orphanage run by The New Hope Organisation. But he soon got bail and the cases did not go to trial till 2008.

Paul, who was often called ‘tatha’ or grandfather by the inmates of the orphanages, went to work in the Mary Ellen Gerber foundation in Puri, Odisha in the 2000s. In 2008, Mary Ellen, the Frech owner of the organisation, complained to police there that Paul has been sexually abusing young boys in the MEG village there. The case is yet to be tried and still pending with Odisha police.

Photo courtesy: The News Minute

According to reports, Paul told news reporters after his 2001 arrest that no court in India can send him to jail. Sadly, his prophecy has been true so far. In the 2001 case that has dragged on for 17 years now, only eight of the 12 victims came forward to give statements to the court. Over the years, only one of the initial eight stood by his testimony that he was sexually abused by Paul. That is no surprise, given that his victims belong to the lowest, weakest sections of society. Disabled, often orphans who were left at the mercy of charity organisations. The same organisations which have not only sheltered Paul after repeated allegations surfaced but also have let him travel freely across India and play doctor and preacher and whatnot.

The case against Paul has been dragged from one court to another for 17 years. A total of 33 witnesses have been examined. Many of his victims have turned either hostile or uninterested. The only people who have donated huge sums of money to the charity homes were reportedly the ones who wanted the case to be finalised soon and even many documents have gone missing over the years. One of the local lawyers said that Paul was also arrested in Visakhapatnam in 2011. He again got bail immediately and went to Odisha. He was back in Visakhapatnam again after committing similar crimes in Muniguda area.

It was a Railway court in Visakhapatnam that convicted Paul Dean recently. He was sentenced to 3 years of simple imprisonment under Sections 377, 292 (2) (A) of IPC, Section 12 of the Passport Act 1967, Section 14 of the Foreigners Act and slapped a fine of Rs 32,000. His conviction on the charges of sexual crimes came after the sole standing victim, a visually impaired David persisted throughout the long trial and never turned hostile.

Paul’s conviction was itself a mockery of the system and judiciary of the country. Paul pleaded mercy and requested for minimum punishment. Even though the punishment under section 377 is 10 years, Paul was only given 3 years of non-rigorous imprisonment. Hoodwinking the system is something Paul has been doing for 40 years now. He got bail by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on the same day. The sentences will run concurrently and as usual, Paul Henry Dean is a free man.

The sordid tale of this sexual predator who preyed upon the most helpless, defenceless victims who could not see, hear and speak what was being done to them brings out the gaping holes in our system.

  1. Paul has been living without a genuine Visa and Passport for 40 years in India
  2. Despite being an Australian national, he has been travelling all over the country without valid documents.
  3. He has been treating patients and performing surgeries without even the basic qualification.
  4. There is no statistics, no way of finding out how many surgeries he has performed and how many lives he had ruined.
  5. Despite having several allegations against him, he has continued to work closely with vulnerable children. The case was registered in 2001, the case in Odisha was registered in 2008 but this sexual predator has never been ‘red flagged’. Is there no mechanism in our law enforcement and social welfare that stops possible offenders from having unrestricted access to new potential victims?
  6. He has been associated with prominent Catholic organisations over the years. Despite repeat allegations, how come the organisations who sheltered, employed and defended a sexual predator are still evading scrutiny?
  7. According to reports, the government of Australia has requested the Indian government to investigate Paul if he was the same man who held the Passport of Alan Herbert Rose. Why have the Indian authorities have not taken action on him?

His victims were mostly disabled and orphans. Do we not have any system in place that verifies people who are associated with the helpless children? There is no telling how many lives Paul has ruined. The fact that Paul remained in India and continued his despicable acts is a testimony to how police, the judiciary and the authorities have all failed. The fact that he remains free without facing consequences for his crimes proves there is no justice whatsoever.

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