Former Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence will be stripped of his Freeman of City of Newcastle and Citizen of the Year Awards after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at the Christ Church Cathedral deanery in 1991.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes confirmed the awards would be revoked within hour of Lawrence being convicted in Newcastle District Court on Friday on charges of sexual intercourse without consent and indecent assault on a person under 16.
"It will absolutely happen," Cr Nelmes said.
"I don't want victims to worry that this won't happen, it absolutely will."
Lawrence's victim Ben Giggins, who chose lift a suppression order on his identity, was helping a youth band to pack up equipment in Christ Church Cathedral when Lawrence approached him and invited on back to his house, the deanery, on the premise that other young people had gathered there for a party that evening.
Upon arrival Lawrence, who was the who was the second-most senior Anglican in the Newcastle diocese, took him into a room with framed photos of naked boys on the walls.
Lawrence, asked Mr Giggins if he liked the photos, to which he replied "no"'.
Lawrence then forced him to the ground and had sexual intercourse with him.
Following the assault Lawrence warned Mr Giggins:
"Don't bother telling anyone. You're just a boy and I am the Dean. No one will believe you."
Lawrence, 76, appeared downcast as Judge Tim Gartelmann, who conducted a judge alone trial, delivered the guilty verdicts following a two hour judgement.
Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Peter Stuart immediately apologised to Mr Giggins outside the court.
"I haven't had a chance to express it to him personally but I do apologise to him on behalf of the Anglican Church," Bishop Stuart said.
"He was entitled to be kept safe and he wasn't."
Judge Gartelmann said his assessment of the credibility of the key witnesses was significant in resolving factual issues that were in dispute.
He described Mr Giggins' demeanour in the witness box as "calm, shy and quiet" and added his evidence appeared consistent with a genuine recollection of the events.
In contrast he described Lawrence, who consistently denied ever meeting Mr Giggins, as defiant and combative.
He said Lawrence's evidence often "demonstrated an intent not to concede matters against his own interests at the expense of truthfulness".
"His (Mr Giggins) evidence had a high degree of credibility generally and his account of those events comprised detail with a clear ring of truth," Judge Gartlemann said.
"The accused's evidence lacked credibility generally and his denial of these events left no reasonable doubt that they occurred."
Lawrence, who was Dean of Christ Church Cathedral from 1984 until 2008, was arrested on 14 November 2017 after police spent close to a year investigating Mr Giggins' complaint.
Detective Sergeant Jeffery Little, who led the investigation, welcomed the verdict.
"You may not see his internal emotional injuries, his emotional scars. However, we took the time to listen to Ben and on listening to him we certainly heard those injuries and scars, he said.
"The passage of time doesn't heal all wounds, but in this case, Ben has been acknowledged by the criminal justice system and that certainly goes a very long way to assist in healing."
In addition to the revocation of the the Freeman of the City and Citizen of the Year awards, abuse survivor Steve Smith, called for the Governor General's Department to remove Lawrence's Order of Australia award.
"He holds an Order of Australia medal that he was granted when he was an active sexual offender," Mr Smith said.
"I also call on the Attorney General Mark Speakman to frankly and thoroughly investigate Graeme Lawrence's connections to the legal fraternity in Newcastle and his involvement in a number of sexual assault trails that have occurred in this city in recent years, particularly those in front of Ralph Coolahan."
Crown Prosecutor Craig Leggat SC sought to have Lawrence's bail revoked after the delivery of the guilty verdicts.
However, Judge Gartlemann agreed to continue his bail on conditions including that he surrender his passport, not approach Mr Giggins and report to Waratah police station daily.
The case was adjourned for a sentencing hearing to commence on September 27.