Paedophile Christian Brother Robert Best Pleads Guilty to More Historic Child-sex Offences

By Adam Cooper
The Age
November 4, 2016

Robert Best has pleaded guilty to more historic child-sex offences.

The Christian Brothers have made no moves to expel paedophile Robert Charles Best from their order despite him pleading guilty to another slew of child-sex offences spanning 20 years.

Best appeared before Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, via video link from prison, to plead guilty to sexually abusing 15 boys in Ballarat and Box Hill between 1968 and 1982 and in Geelong in 1987 and 1988.

The 75-year-old was in 2011 jailed for 14 years for abusing 11 boys he taught at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill and Geelong between 1969 and 1988.

Soon after his plea, the Christian Brothers Province of Oceania issued a statement reiterating their "unreserved apology" for Best's "grievous betrayal of trust", and urging people to contact police if they had been sexually assaulted.

But the statement said Best was still a Christian Brother.

When contacted, a spokesman for the organisation confirmed this but refused to comment when asked if Best would ever face expulsion.

Best on Friday pleaded guilty to 22 charges, while prosecutors withdrew 17 charges.

It is understood the latest charges involve offences against 15 boys.

It is not yet known whether any of the boys were the same victims he abused in the offending for which he was jailed in 2011.

Most of those boys were aged between eight and 11 at the time.

Best was in 2011 ordered to serve at least 11 years in prison after a series of trials in the County Court. The Catholic Church funded much of Best's legal defence.

In sentencing in 2011, judge Roy Punshon told Best: "You have caused a great deal of human damage and misery".

"Because of your power and position of authority the victims, who were young and immature, felt powerless and unable to complain either at all or effectively," the judge said.

Best, who also taught in Warrnambool, is due to return to the County Court in February for a formal plea hearing.








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