George Pell continues to face a wave of civil lawsuits after the conviction for child sexual abuse is overturned
George Pell’s legal woes are far from over: Cardinal will still face civil war of alleged sexual abuse victims after being acquitted of harassing two choirboys
- Cardinal George Pell had overturned his convictions for the sexual abuse of boys
- He continues to face at least ten potential civil lawsuits after being released from prison
- A complaint has already been made because he did nothing to prevent another priest from abusing a boy
- Father of one of the choir boys in the overturned conviction case also plans to file a lawsuit
- He blames Pell for his son’s drug addiction that led to a heroin overdose in 2014
Cardinal George Pell’s legal woes are far from over, even after he was released from prison, destroying a free man with his child’s convictions for sexual abuse.
Australia’s oldest Catholic faces at least ten potential civil lawsuits alleging that he has harassed other boys or abused fellow priests.
Last year, a claim was made to the Victorian Supreme Court by a victim of the infamous pedophile priest Edward “Ted” Dowlan, who claimed that Pell did nothing to protect him.
Melbourne lawyer Vivian Waller is hearing eight other civil cases against the 78-year-old pastor, and more are expected from other complainants.
Sentences for child sexual abuse against Cardinal George Pell (photo from prison) were overturned by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, ending a three-year legal battle and setting him free
Pell was sentenced to six years in 2018 for the sexual abuse of two choir boys at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.
Two of the three judges on the Court of Appeals confirmed the jury’s verdict last year, but a full High Court bank unanimously overturned the convictions.
Many of the alleged victims waited until after the Supreme Court appeal before starting their own cases so that a series of lawsuits could be brought within a few days.
Among them is the father of one of two choir boys whom Pell was convicted of molestation at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996, before being destroyed by the High Court on Tuesday.
The father, who cannot be named, of the choir boy code-named R blames Pell for his son who went into a drug addiction that led to the death of his heroin overdose in 2014.
The only case that has already been filed concerns a man who was abused between 1982 and 1988 during Dowlan’s time at East Melbourne’s Cathedral College.
He claims that Pell was aware of Dowlan’s criminal ways and was an accomplice in moving him between schools across the state, allowing the abuse to continue.
Convicted pedophile Christian Brother Edward “Ted” Dowlan is in prison after abusing boys in the 1970s and 80s as a teacher in schools in Melbourne and West Victoria. The civil suit brought by one of his victims alleges that Cardinal George Pell was aware of Dowlan’s criminal ways, but did nothing to remove him from his teaching position or end the abuse
Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli (shown left) is mentioned in the civil lawsuit alongside Cardinal Pell and Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird (shown right)
Dowlan admitted that he had abused boys since 1971 when he was in a pedophile ring at St. Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, including predators Robert Best and Gerald Ridsdale.
Pell was the Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Diocese of Ballarat from 1973 to 1984.
Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird, Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli and the Catholic Education Commission are also mentioned in the suit.
Lawyer Michael Magazanik, who represented the applicant’s victim, told the court last year that there was no doubt that the abuse took place and that his client had previously been compensated for it.
The Diocese of Ballarat or the insurers of the Catholic Church would most likely fall victim to the lawsuits because, according to new laws, the ecclesiastical entity that can finance the judicial process is called the primary defendant.
Pell and any other parties could also be mentioned in the lawsuit.
The newly released cardinal has little money to set up a defense or pay damages. His defense was paid for by wealthy benefactors.