A defrocked former Warrnambool priest, about to complete his second jail sentence for abusing two Warrnambool schoolboys, is now expected to be extradited to the United States in coming days where he will face more criminal charges.
In the US on Tuesday this week, Virginian Attorney General Mark Herring announced charges against former priest Paul David Ryan, 72, for two felony counts of carnal knowledge by force of a minor under the age of 18.
Mr Ryan was identified through Attorney General Herring and Virginia State Police's investigation into clergy abuse.
The former priest was indicted by the multi-jurisdictional grand jury seated in Rockingham County last month.
In mid-2019, Ryan pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to one charge of indecent assault, one of sexual penetration of a person between the ages of 16 and 18 and one charge of committing an indecent act with a child under 16, involving the two Warrnambool schoolboys and another youth from Ararat.
He was sentenced to serve two years and two months in prison, with a minimum 17 months to serve before being eligible for parole, and had already spent time in pre-sentence custody.
Ryan was expected to complete his sentence in just days and be released from custody but it's now likely he will be flown to the US to stand trial.
The US indictments are related to alleged sexual abuse when Ryan was an ordained Catholic Priest assigned at Star of the Sea Parish and the affiliated Star of the Sea School, both in Virginia Beach, between 1979 and 1980.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, has released a statement saying that Ryan had already been named on the Catholic Diocese of Richmond's list of priests against whom credible and substantiated allegations had been made.
"The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has fully cooperated with the ongoing clergy abuse investigation by the Virginia Attorney General since it started in October 2018 and will continue to do so," the statement said.
"Ryan came to the Diocese of Richmond in 1979, where he worked for less than a year at Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.
"Since the Attorney General's investigation remains on-going, and out of respect for any victim survivors, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond will not comment further about allegations against Paul David Ryan.
"Bishop (Barry) Knestout encourages all victims of sexual abuse to report allegations to law enforcement.
"We continue to pray for all victim survivors of abuse and remain diligent in our efforts of creating a safe environment for all," it said.
The most recent case involved Warrnambool schoolboy victims was launched after information was revealed during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
In December 2015, the commission was told the Vatican had defrocked Mr Ryan from the priesthood almost a decade after the Ballarat diocese requested he be removed.
It is understood the Warrnambool charges happened when the boys were students at Warrnambool's Christian Brothers College during the 1980s.
Father Ryan also performed the role of school chaplain at CBC and went on school camping trips.
Former Warrnambool police detective Colin Ryan, whose investigation in 2006 led to Paul Ryan's first criminal conviction for molesting two altar boys at Penshurst, previously said he was delighted to see more victims get justice.
"My investigation showed that Paul David Ryan was sponsored into the seminary by Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns, knowing he had a history of being kicked out of the Adelaide seminary," he said.
"Bishop Mulkearns was advised Paul David Ryan should not be admitted and yet he was sponsored, continued through the seminary and went on to offend against children."
Abuse allegations were made even before Ryan was ordained as a priest in 1976 and almost everywhere he worked - from Ballarat to Warrnambool, Terang, Penshurst and Ararat - until he was defrocked in 1993.
The Catholic Church paid for him to go to the United States multiple times in the 1970s and '80s, according to evidence to the Royal Commission, and the church also paid-out two boys who said Ryan abused them in the US.
Much of this was under the tutelage of then Bishop Mulkearns, who Ryan had known since the early 1970s.
Ryan was kicked out of the seminary in Adelaide and, in 1971, was teaching at St Joseph's in Mildura.
There, he met prolific pedophiles Gerald Ridsdale and Monsignor John Day before Bishop Mulkearns moved him to Ballarat.
In evidence to the commission, Ryan claimed Ridsdale suggested to him in Ararat that he joined him and others in abusing boys after Ridsdale learned Ryan had been removed from Penshurst.
In 1994 Ridsdale pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool County Court to 46 charges of abusing 20 boys and one girl between 1961 and 1982.
He was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment and due to other proven charges remains in prison.
A victim told the commission he had gone to Ararat to inquire about becoming a priest and came face-to-face with Ryan, who he said abused him when he was a teenager.
He told Bishop Mulkearns.
"Mulkeans did not act surprised. He did not seem to display any emotional response at all," the victim said.
Helen Watson, who gave evidence to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2012, said Ryan's abuse of her son in Ararat in 1991 led to his suicide at the age of 24.
Last week The Standard reported that barrister David O'Brien, previously of Penshurst, has been involved in eight $1 million plus settlements of clergy abuse this year, three of more than $1.5 million involving the Diocese of Ballarat.
At least one of those cases relates to Ryan's offending, which is understood to now be the Victorian record payout for clergy abuse of $1.75 million, plus costs.
- Flying Agent wins 2021 Brierly Steeplechase for trainer Amy McDonald
- Warrnambool councillors to get top allowance after city vote
- May Racing Carnival fashion bar raised by Ladies Luncheon attendees
- $250 parking hit for CBD workers as Warrnambool councillors grapple with budget 'mess'
- Warrnambool's first home brewing retail shop opens
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content