Abuse accusations at Ballarat orphanage

The former head of a Victorian orphanage has been accused of sexually assaulting boys and girls under his care more than 50 years ago.

A committal hearing will determine whether the former head of a notorious Victorian orphanage should stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting children under his care more than 50 years ago.

Hylton Sedgman faces 40 charges of carnal knowledge and indecent assault involving six girls and one boy.

It's alleged Sedgman abused them between 1963 and 1964, while he was the superintendent of the Ballarat Orphanage.

The 87-year-old, who now lives in Queensland, was excused from appearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday.

His defence say they want time to examine the allegations.

The reliability of witnesses' memories about the alleged assaults was an important factor to consider, barrister John Goetz said.

"With the lapse of more than 50 years it's possible that some of these allegations might relate to other staff members," he said.

A committal hearing over 13 days has been set for November.

In May, the site of the former orphanage was approved for heritage protection by the government.

The site was excavated for human remains in April as part of a police investigation into historic rumours of children going missing there, but no bodies were found.

Source AAP

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