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Published: 20 January 2017
Author: Annie Kent

Ridsdale faces numerous charges of pedophilia

Father Gerald Ridsdale appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today, 20 January 2017, via videolink from prison. Ridsdale appeared for a mention hearing regarding  allegations of child sexual abuse that are being investigated by Taskforce SANO. The Magistrate made orders for Ridsdale to appear via videolink from prison on 10 March 2017 for a committal mention in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Ridsdale faces at least 36 charges relating to rape, buggery, indecent assault, and common assault offences. The offences allegedly took place in Ballarat, Ocean Grove, Merbein, Edenhope, Quantong, Mortlake and Riverside.

Ridsdale was ordained in St Patrick's Cathedral in Ballarat in 1961. He worked in parish communities including Ballarat, Horsham, Mortlake, Inglewood and Warrnambool until the 1980s. Ridsdale was charged between 1993 and 2014 for assault in various parishes and sentenced to a minimum of 24 years for assaulting 54 of victims.

Taskforce SANO investigates historical and recent allegations of child sexual abuse involving religious and non-government organisations. Taskforce SANO can be contacted on sanotaskforce@police.vic.gov.au or 1800 110 007.