Archbishop Max Davis steps down

A senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia has stepped down from his post after being charged with sexually abusing a teen student decades ago, the church said on Monday.

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

Davis denies the charges, the church stated.

Western Australia police said that they charged a 68-year-old man on Friday with indecently assaulting a 13-year-old. The man, who local 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 hiscase.

“At that time, 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 Perth courts on July 25.