Serial child abuser priest Gerald Ridsdale pleads guilty to 20 more charges against 11 children

Royal Commission on Institutional Child Sex AbuseGerald Ridsdale

The Australian paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, already convicted of abusing 53 children, has pleaded guilty to a 20 further charges againt another 11 children.

Ridsdale pleaded guilty today to 14 counts of indecent assault, two of buggery, two of rape, one of attempted rape and one of taking part in an act of sexual penetration of a child.

A further 18 charges were withdrawn.

The charges concern 10 boys and one girl.

As abuse claims circulated against Ridsdale, he was not removed from the priesthood but instead, moved from parish to parish by the late Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns.

The latest charges concern alleged offences that took place between 1962 and 1988 in places in Victoria state including Ballarat, Edenhope, Merbein, Riverside, Mortlake, Quantong and Burnt Creek.

Ridsdale, represented by Victoria Legal Aid, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court via video link, The Age reports.

He said: 'I plead guilty to all charges as presented, your honour.'

Ridsdale has been behind bars since 1994 for more than 100 charges of sexual abuse against children over three decades.

He has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was sexually abused as a child and began to abuse children as a seminarian. 

In 2015 he told the commission: 'It was morally wrong and it was legally wrong. Yes, they were serious sins. I'd be fearful all the time of someone reporting me.'

Ridsdale  will appear in court again on August 15 for a plea hearing and for sentence.