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Man to sue Pell over alleged 1970s sex abuse

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A man who says he was molested by George Pell when he was a boy in the 1970s will file a lawsuit against the disgraced cardinal in the Supreme Court in Melbourne, the Herald Sun reports.

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The suit to be lodged today names Pell, the trustees of Nazareth House, (formerly St Joseph’s), the State of ­Victoria and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The 50-year-old man was a resident in St Joseph’s Boys Home in Ballarat from February 1974 to 1978 and says he was abused by Pell during that period.

He was a complainant against Pell in a second trial over allegations Pell indecently assaulted boys in Ballarat in the 1970s. The case was abandoned by prosecutors after a court deemed vital evidence inadmissible.

The man says he was devastated by the decision.

“It took a lot of courage and soul searching to be prepared to tell my story, accusing one of the most senior Catholics in the world of serious criminal offences, and eventually I was ready to have my day in court,” he told the Herald Sun.

“But when I was told they had withdrawn the case I felt empty, and that an injustice had occurred.”

The man’s lawyer Lee Flanagan said at least three other witnesses would testify they suffered similar abuse at the hands of the cardinal.

“There was a fourth witness, but he died after charges were laid against Pell. We may seek to tender his statement into evidence in this case,” he said.

A Melbourne jury in December found Pell guilty of five charges of abuse against two choirboys in the 1990s but the verdict was only made public on February 26 after months of procedural secrecy and the abandonment of the second trial.

 

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