An alleged serial paedophile who was most recently a nurse on the paediatric ward at the Launceston General Hospital was responsible for maintaining student accommodation at the University of Tasmania's Newnham campus for over a decade.
The late James Geoffrey Griffin, of Legana, was last week unmasked as the subject of numerous charges for alleged crimes that date back to at least 1987.
Mr Griffin worked at the LGH from 2001 until he was stood down after being charged in 2019. But he died at 69 before standing trial.
He had been hit with a raft of charges, including maintain a sexual relationship with a young person, indecent assault, involve person under 18 years in production of child exploitation material and produce child exploitation material.
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The Tasmanian Health Service is currently investigating the allegations, with Health Minister Sarah Courtney saying she was making sure the matter was "examined fully".
Now UTAS has confirmed Mr Griffin worked as a property officer in student accommodation at its Newnham campus between 1986 and 1997.
"The University of Tasmania can confirm that a deceased man at the centre of reporting about deeply distressing criminal allegations was a former employee," a UTAS spokesperson said.
"The university is not aware of any criminal allegations in relation to the employee other than what has been reported in the media."
Mr Griffin also worked "a number" of casual shifts at UTAS between 2001 and 2004.
It has not been alleged that Mr Griffin assaulted anyone on campus.
Abuse survivors' advocate Allison Ritchie said UTAS should subject itself to questioning as part of the state government's recently announced inquiry into the Education Department's responses to child sex abuse.
"I think they should be more than happy to come forward like we would expect any other school or education provider to come forward to discuss what's happened in the past, what they're doing now - all of those sorts of things around systems as part of this," Ms Ritchie, a former state government minister, said.
Ms Ritchie has expressed concerns about the inquiry's terms of reference, which only cover government schools.
"I don't think there should be any restrictions [around who can present to the inquiry] for anyone that is involved in the education system in this state," she said.
"Any educational institution in this state should be looking at preparing a response to this inquiry. It's been very well-publicised."
UTAS is encouraging current and former students and staff to contact its Safe and Fair Community Unit with any questions, concerns or issues
The unit can be reached on 6226 2560 or via SaFCU@utas.edu.au.
- If this story has raised any concerns for you, contact the Sexual Assault Support Service on 6231 0044 or Laurel House on 6334 2740.
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