One of Australia’s worst paedophile priests, Gerald Ridsdale, has pleaded guilty to another historical sexual crime after a 72nd victim came forward. Source: The Australian.
Ridsdale, now 89 years old, admitted to indecently touching a 13-year-old schoolboy in 1987 when he lived at the Saint Michael and John’s Catholic Primary School presbytery in Horsham, 350km northwest of Melbourne.
It brings the total number of charges brought against him to 192, over a period of 30 years.
The Ballarat Magistrates Court heard Ridsdale inappropriately touched the young boy’s genitals on the outside of his clothing for between five and 10 seconds, before the schoolboy quickly left the room.
The priest had previously addressed the schoolboy’s class, spoke to him in the schoolyard and within a counsellor’s office before telling him on one occasion: “You’re a young, strong fella” and touching him on the arm and the “bum” on another.
The victim, who cannot be identified, did not provide the court with an impact statement, but a police prosecutor read aloud part of his witness statement.
“I feel like I dodged a bullet … it is nothing in comparison to other kids. I have told my partner … that something had happened to me,” the court heard.
Ridsdale is serving a total of 39 years in prison and is likely to die in jail. The matter was adjourned to August 15.
Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale committed ‘most serious and abhorrent’ series of crimes (By Angela Snowdon, The Australian)