Victims of Convicted Paedophile Priest Ridsdale to Sue Catholic Church in Australia
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 9, 2014 3:05 PM EST
Victims of convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale are set to sue the Ballarat Catholic diocese in Australia.
On Tuesday, Judge Michael Rozenes sentenced Mr Ridsdale to an 8-year jail term with a minimum non-parole period of five years for the sexual abuse of 14 children during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The 80-year-old former priest is expected to die in prison serving his jail term.
Victims of sex abuse by Catholic priest Finian Egan lived for years in the shadows PIC: Reuters
Vivian Waller, counsel of the 20 people whom Mr Ridsdale victimised, said she has been instructed to file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Ballarat on the note that Mr Ridsdale remained a priest even after it was already known he was a sexual predator because of the church's deliberate negligence and cover-ups.
"(We'll be) noting indeed that the Archdiocese of Melbourne knew since 1975 that Ridsdale was a sexual offender and failed to report these matters to the police or even to take Ridsdale out of circulation and contact with children," she said.
The class suit would be the acid test against Cardinal George Pell and his commitment to make the church more receptive of sexual abuse litigations.
"Victims are tiring of going to the church cap-in-hand asking for handout," Ms Waller said.
"I would call on the Catholic Church of Australia to adopt a unified approach and put out a statement so that victims know where they stand and just simply say we will no longer rely on the Ellis defence."
Notorious Mr Ridsdale abused 53 children in all as he enjoyed the protection of the Catholic church which just moved him from parish to parish throughout his career. His victims included parishioners' children, wards of the state, altar servers, twin brothers and a girl as young as four years old.
He got defrocked only in 1993.
"There is no doubt your conduct plummets to the depths of evil hypocrisy," Mr Rozenes said as he laid down the verdict on Mr Ridsdale. "Your conduct has given rise to disastrous, catastrophic and at times tragic results."
If the class suit against the Ballarat Catholic diocese succeeds, the church will have to pay out millions in compensation.
''I hope that the Archdiocese of Ballarat will abide by the indication of George Pell that the church won't employ certain defences to defeat sexual abuse claimants,'' Ms Waller said.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Shifts Blame On US For Ukraine Crisis, Putin Accuses West of 'Remaking World'
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine