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Australian Bishop Max Davis Steps Down After Abuse Accusations

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SYDNEY (AP) — A senior member of Australia's Catholic Church has stepped down from his post after being charged with sexually abusing a teenaged student decades ago, the church said Monday.

Bishop Max Davis, the head of the church's military diocese, is accused of abusing a student in 1969 when he was a teacher at St. Benedict's College in Western Australia, the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia said in a statement. The Ordinariate is the Catholic Diocese of the country's defense force.

Davis denies the charges, the church said.

Western Australia police said they charged a 68-year-old man on Friday with indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy. The man, who police did not name, faces three counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 14.

Davis has stepped down while the court deals with the case.

"At that time — 45 years ago — the bishop was not ordained," the church said in a statement. "The bishop emphatically denies the allegation and the charge will be defended."

Davis will appear in a Perth court on July 25.

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