Sex abuse victims seek independent inquiry into payouts

A lobby group of victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy have demanded the Victorian government establish an independent justice commission into the crimes.

The Herald Sun reports 14 victims of defrocked priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale will lobby for a Department of Justice investigation into why victims were paid varying compensation by the Church.

72 year old defrocked priest Ridsdale is considered to be one of Victoria's most prolific child sex offenders.

The payouts ranged from several thousand dollars, while others received tens of thousands or more than $100,000.

One victims, "Robert", said the issue was not just about fair compensation but also dignity.

"It's not all about money, there's a lot more to it than that," he said

"This should have been handled decades ago by the law, independent of the Church."

Currently, Risdale is serving a minimum 19 years for raping and molesting 40 children, aged 6-16, between 1961 and 1987.

Ridsdale will be eligible for parole in 2013.

Sex abuse victims want inquiry (Herald Sun 16/01/08)
Sceptre of evil haunted her til the end (Herald Sun 13/01/08)

Class action threatened over sex offender Ridsdale (CathNews, 21/8/06)
Ballarat Bishop accepts criticism in sex abuse case (CathNews, 15/8/06)
New controversies in sex abuse cases (CathNews, 14/8/06)
Former priest pleads guilty to 35 more charges (CathNews, 8/8/06)
More charges for jailed priest (CathNews, 8/7/05)
Prosecutors block child sex charges against ex-priest (CathNews, 17/8/04)
Pedophile priest may face more charges (CathNews, 14/12/04)

17 Jan 2008