Jailed Christian brother 'satanic': victim

(File: AAP)

A former Christian Brother who worked alongside some of Australia's worst pedophiles has been jailed for sexually assaulting 20 boys.

He professed to be a man of God, but outside a Victorian court where he was jailed for child sex abuse, former Christian Brother Edward "Ted" Bales was called evil and satanic.

The 65-year-old has been ordered to serve at least three years of a six-year prison sentence for indecently assaulting 20 boys under his care at Victorian schools in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bales, formerly known as Edward Vernon Dowlan, changed his name to avoid the publicity of being associated with convicted pedophiles Brother Robert Best and Brother Stephen Farrell, whom he taught alongside at St Alipius school in Ballarat.

Fr Gerald Ridsdale, who was chaplain of the school, is Australia's worst pedophile priest.

Victorian County Court Judge Richard Smith said Bales was a renowned disciplinarian in the school yard.

He used his position of trust and authority as a teacher and boarding school master to prey on his victims, aged between eight and 14 at the time.

His offending often occurred under the pretext of discipline.

Bales would send a student to the back of the classroom, order the other students not to turn around, and indecently assault his victim.

In one instance he rubbed a student's leg, and then genitals.

When the boy pushed Bales' hand away the Christian Brother struck him across the face.

In other instances, Bales would pretend to offer comfort to vulnerable students, then assault them.

He exhibited a confidence that he was not going to be reported or exposed.

Judge Smith said some of his victims had also suffered abuse at the hands of other offenders at the schools.

"All of your victims were genuinely scared of you," Judge Smith said.

It was the second time Bales, now ousted from the religious order, from Thomastown had faced court on child sex offences.

In the 1990s he served five years in jail for historical child sex offences.

Last year he pleaded guilty to 34 charges, including 33 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.

After Bales was sentenced on Friday, a man yelled "rot in hell, you dog".

Speaking outside the court, one victim said Bales was "satanic" and an "evil monster".

Another victim, Tim Green, said in 1974 he had warned the then Fr George Pell, who lived in Ballarat at the time, about the abuse and was shrugged off.

"Dowlan had been abusing victims. It was common knowledge at the school. George Pell walked into the swimming pool change rooms," he said.

"For some reason I had the courage to say `something should be done about Dowlan, he's touching little boys.'

"George Pell said: `don't be so ridiculous', and walked out."

Cardinal Pell has consistently denied being involved in a cover-up of child sex abuse.

The Christian Brothers apologised again for Bales' actions, saying young children entrusted to their care were sadly and tragically let down.

"That innocent children were the subject of such crimes is a matter of deep regret for our entire congregation," Province Leader of Christian Brothers Oceania Peter Clinch said.

"To those who were abused and who have carried that terrible legacy with them throughout their lives, I reiterate on behalf of every Christian Brother in this country our enduring and humble apology."

Source AAP

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