Re: Australia: Priest jailed
A Christian Brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing 11 children at three schools across Victoria, after six trials over a reign of terror that lasted between 1969 and 1988. Robert Charles Best 70, yesterday pleaded guilty to two sex offences against two children at St Leo's College in Box Hill between 1975 and 1977 and two sex offences against one child at St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Geelong between 1986 and 1988. Best was the principal of St Alipius Parish School in Ballarat in the 1960s and '70s where he worked alongside notorious pedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale.
He lived next door to the school with Father - now Cardinal - George Pell.
Best's pleas at his seventh trial brought an end to three years of legal drama that costs millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Attorney-General Robert Clark said last night the law that allowed Best to have his charges heard separately could be changed so it doesn't happen again. Best has been convicted of 27 sex offences, against men who are now aged between 37 and 51. At four of his trials he was found guilty by a jury of 20 counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated buggery. At another two trials for rape and indecent assault he was acquitted. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to offences against three children. Best was first charged in June 2008.
In a statement yesterday Christian Brothers Oceania said it had offered sincere and unreserved apologies to several former students sexually abused by Best.
Judges ordered Best's victims to endure six separate trials at which he fought the charges at every turn. The delays in bringing Best to justice led one complainant to commit suicide before his case came to trial.
Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile