Sad truth about Pell’s sex abuse
THE family of one of the boys sexually abused by Cardinal George Pell has described how he changed from a cheerful young teen to a "different boy".
The boy was 13 years old when Pell molested him and his friend, also 13, in the sacristy at St Patrick's Cathedral.
Both boys had choral scholarships to attend the exclusive St Kevin's College because of their beautiful singing voices.
Although the boy had been happy at school before the abuse, things suddenly changed for him after his encounter with Pell.
The boy's father has told Four Corners his son's schoolwork started slipping and his attitude changed.
"He went from being this lovely boy who used to come to the football with me, who used to go and help his grandparents and helped around the house, to this boy wanting to go out all the time," the father said.
"His whole attitude changed. His whole being just, he was a different boy."
The boy started using heroin about a year after the abuse and died of an overdose about 15 years later when he was 30 years old.
"It's devastating to watch your child spiral out like that. It was very hard to watch," the boy's mother told Four Corners.
Although his mum asked him twice whether he had been sexually abused, he never revealed what had happened to him.
Now Pell has been found guilty of abusing their son, his father says he is "disgusted in the Catholic Church".
A sergeant overseeing Taskforce SANO's investigation into Pell has also described the church as "difficult" to deal with.
RELATED: Pell's police interview released
Doug Smith said the level of co-operation the church gave the investigation was similar to a "protester lying on the ground in the middle of the street not resisting the police, but the police would have to pick that person up and drag them off the street".
Smith said Pell was co-operative but also arrogant.
He praised the other boy who came forward and testified against Pell, eventually leading to his conviction.
"He's a credit to himself and he needs to be congratulated because he's done a very, very good job at being believed," Sergeant Smith said.
"All you can do is tell the truth, he can't do any more than that. And for a jury of his peers to believe him, I mean, it's fantastic.
"No-one's above the law. The Catholic Church isn't above the law."
Meanwhile, another man who says he was molested by Pell when he was a boy in the 1970s will file a lawsuit the disgraced cardinal in the Supreme Court in Melbourne, the Herald Sun reports.
The suit to be lodged today names Pell, the trustees of Nazareth House (formerly St Joseph's), the state of Victoria and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.
The 50-year-old man was a resident in St Joseph's Boys Home in Ballarat from February 1974 to 1978 and says he was abused by Pell during that period.
He was a complainant against Pell in a second trial over allegations Pell indecently assaulted boys in Ballarat in the 1970s. The case was abandoned by prosecutors after a court deemed vital evidence inadmissable; with the man saying he was left devastated by the decision.
"It took a lot of courage and soul-searching to be prepared to tell my story, accusing one of the most senior Catholics in the world of serious criminal offences, and eventually I was ready to have my day in court," he told the Herald Sun.
"But when I was told they had withdrawn the case I felt empty and that an injustice had occurred."
The man's lawyer Lee Flanagan said at least three other witnesses would testify they suffered similar abuse at the hands of the cardinal.
"There was a fourth witness, but he died after charges were laid against Pell. We may seek to tender his statement into evidence in this case," Mr Flanagan told the paper.
A Melbourne jury in December found Pell guilty of five charges of abuse against two choirboys in the 1990s, but the verdict was only made public on February 26 after months of procedural secrecy and the abandonment of the second trial.
- with AAP