An Australian former Catholic priest previously convicted of child sexual abuse pleaded guilty this Thursday to sexually abusing a 72nd victim, the Associated Press reported.
Gerald Ridsdale, 89, is currently serving a 39-year sentence for abusing children between 1961 and 1988 while he worked as a Roman Catholic priest in Victoria. He began serving his sentence in 1994.
He pleaded guilty by video while lying in a prison hospital bed to a new charge of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy in 1987 when he worked as an assistant priest at the boy’s school. He will be sentenced on Aug. 15 in relation to his 193rd conviction for child sex abuse.
From the AP:
During his 29 years as a priest, Ridsdale was shuffled between 16 church posts. In 2017, a government inquiry into child sex abuse found his frequent relocations were evidence of the church covering up his crimes.
The inquiry found that the late Australian Cardinal George Pell, who became the third-highest ranking cleric in the Vatican in 2014, knew Ridsdale had been sexually abusing children years before his arrest. Pell denied any previous knowledge of criminal allegations against Ridsdale.
The sentence for Ridsdale’s new conviction was additional prison time.