Up to 20 more Mortlake victims of notorious pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale are considering coming forward after being abused in the early 1980s.
A victim, who Ridsdale has already pleaded guilty to raping in a confessional box at Mortlake, said this morning he had been talking to a large number of former school mates.
Ridsdale was the Mortlake Catholic priest in 1981 and 1982.
The victim last year settled a landmark civil claim against the Catholic Church Ballarat diocese for more than $1 million.
"After it's become public knowledge about my case there's certainly a lot more of my former school mates who are willing to talk and are considering coming forward," he said.
"A lot more blokes are willing to talk about what happened to them and are now considering taking action, either making statements to police or making civil claims.
"There's a fair bit of chat from the boys from Mortlake."
Ridsdale has now pleaded guilty to abusing 69 victims.
He admitted to his sister that he had abused hundreds of children when he was first arrested in the early 1990s.
On Monday a Warrnambool rape victim of the defrocked priest told of how his life was turned upside-down by the impact of the offending.
Ridsdale, 85, pleaded guilty in Geelong County Court to 14 charges, including 10 of indecent assault and four counts of buggery.
Four charges related to a Warrnambool victim.
That boy grew up in Warrnambool, attended the Christian Brothers College and the offending happened between September 1970 and December 1974 when the boy was aged between eight and 12 years old.
Ridsdale was the assistant parish priest in Warrnambool between 1970 and 1972.
Ridsdale befriended the boy's family when they went to Warrnambool's St Joseph's Church and visited their home for meals and went fishing with the male members of the family.
Ridsdale would tickle the boy and place him on his lap on a chair which led to the initial offending involving inappropriate touching.
That happened about a dozen times while other family members were not in the lounge room while Ridsdale was seated on a chair with the boy in his lap.
It then progressed to similar touching while seated on a couch between 15 and 20 times.
When the boy's parents had an argument, Ridsdale came over and hugged the upset boy placing his hand on the boy's backside which he also did on another occasion.
In December 1974 the boy and another student went with Ridsdale to Apollo Bay.
Ridsdale and the victim watched cricket, Ridsdale gave the boy three or four cans of beer while the older boy spent time in his room.
Later that night the victim woke up to find Ridsdale fondling him.
The next day the boy wanted to go home but couldn't think of a way to do so.
Ridsdale was counting cash donations for the Cyclone Tracy appeal that day when he offered the boy more beer and the boy got quite drunk.
That night he was raped by Ridsdale and the boy suffered bleeding for a couple of days.
He disclosed to a friend at the time he had a terrible experience with Ridsdale and later told his parents the priest had fondled him.
The victim made a statement to police in April 2018.
In a victim impact statement to the court on Monday he told of the emotional, psychological, social and financial impacts of the abuse which changed his life forever.
The man said he was unable to sleep, concentrate, perform regular duties or engage in social interactions.
He said he had recurring flashbacks, was now dependent on alcohol and anti-depressants, had lost his job, ruined his relationship with his wife and children and was living with his elderly parents.
"I can't see things changing for the rest of my life," he said.
"Things would have been different if this individual was not ever a part of my life."
The maximum applicable penalty for indecent assault in the current case is 10 years' imprisonment and for buggery 20 years in jail.
On Monday defence barrister Tim Marsh requested Ridsdale not receive any additional jail time as he's been in jail since 1994 and has since pleaded guilty to a range of offences in five separate cases.
- Victim dedicates settlement to others abused by clergy who took their own lives
- Compensation floodgates open for victims of clergy abuse after church admits liability
- Catholic church asks for copy of 1917 Canon Law in Latin
- Catholic Church lawyers caught out playing hardball in explosive civil litigation case
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