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Name: Robert Charles Best

Age:70 yrs old (2011)

State:Vic (formerly of Warnambool)

Offence/ Sentence:Two counts of indecently assaulting 11 yr old boy/ Sentenced in 1996 to 9 mths jail/ suspended for 2 years.. Sentenced again in 2011 to 14yrs 9months jail/ 11yrs 3months jail non parole.

Other:Repeat Offender..Two counts of indecently assaulting 11 yr old boy..Christian Brother/ Principal/ Teacher. Best taught at many Catholic Schools in (WA, VIC, TAS). 2011 conviction - Victims were 11 children at three schools across Victoria

News 31-5-2011- A Christian Brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing 11 children at three schools across Victoria, after six trials over a reign of terror that lasted between 1969 and 1988.
Read more below..

Robert Charles Best
            Robert Charles Best




Pedophile Christian Brother loses appeal

Pedophile Christian Brother Robert Best has lost an appeal against his convictions for abusing a schoolboy in the 1970s.
Best, 71, was jailed last year for a minimum 11 years and three months for sexually abusing young boys during a 20-year period at three schools.
On Wednesday, Victoria's appeals court rejected his appeal on seven of his convictions for indecently assaulting a schoolboy between 1971-74 while Best was principal of St Alipius Primary School in East Ballarat, when the pupil was aged between eight and 11.
In their unanimous judgment, Justices Chris Maxwell, Pamela Tate and Robert Osborn found Best failed to show a miscarriage of justice had occurred during his trial.
Best's defence argued the crown relied entirely on the account of the victim, whose memory was unreliable and tainted by flashbacks.
The defence said the victim's testimony varied in terms of dates, places and identities of others he claimed were there during some of the offences.
But Justice Osborn said the defence failed to show any fault with how the trial was run.
"The complainant's evidence comprised a coherent and credible account of the offending," Justice Osborn wrote in the judgment.
He was also not persuaded by the defence argument that failure to call the victim's mother to testify caused a miscarriage of justice.
"The evidentiary concerns raised on behalf of the appellant do not persuade me either individually or in combination that the jury's verdict was unsafe or unsatisfactory," he said.
Best was found guilty at trial of 21 charges, including the rape of a nine-year-old disabled boy, and later pleaded guilty to a further six.
All 27 charges related to 11 boys he taught at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, St Leo's College in Box Hill, and St Joseph's College in Geelong between 1969 and 1988.
The Christian Brothers have not expelled Best, and are believed to have spent in excess of $1 million defending him in court, although they did not fund his appeal.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a royal commission into institutional responses to allegations of child sex abuse in Australia, as Victoria pursues its own parliamentary inquiry.


AAP (1-11-2012)
Melissa Iaria
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/catholic-pedophile-loses-appeal/story-e6frfku9-1226521032753#ixzz2Uj4Ngg93

Victims file for compensation from paedophile

Eleven victims of convicted paedophile, Brother Robert Best, have lodged applications for compensation in the County Court.
Best was convicted last year of abusing the boys while he was a teacher during the 1970's and 1980 at schools including St Alipius Christian Brothers School in Ballarat.
The barrister representing the victims, Dr Vivian Waller, says they are entitled to apply for compensation under the Sentencing Act.
She says if the court orders Best to pay compensation, the Christian Brothers should cover the costs.
"Any compensation order can only be enforced against the offender," she said.
"But I would be calling on the church, given that they fully funded his legal defence, that they would meet the needs of people who have in fact been Best's victims."


www.abc.net.au (3-5-2012)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-03/victims-file-for-compensation-from-paedophile-priest/3987084

Religious order declares it will continue to stand by sex offender Robert Best

Deviant Christian Brother Robert Best will be offered the continued support of his order after he serves a prison sentence for his decades-long abuse of vulnerable young boys.
The Christian Brothers say they have no plans to expel Best and that their continued support of him is a public service, reported The Herald Sun.
And they have sought to justify their financing of Best's defence at a series of trials during which victims of the paedophile were compelled to relive their experiences in the witness box.
Despite their support for 70-year-old Best, the Brothers say they will co-operate with any public inquiry into sex abuse within the Catholic Church - a major demand of victims and their families.
Br Brian Brandon, executive officer for professional standards for the Christian Brothers Oceania, said Best had been removed from contact with children as soon as the organisation learned of the allegations against him in the 1990s.
"The Christian Brothers did not know what charges, if any, he might be found guilty of until the series of recent trials concluded," he said.
"It would not be our intention to expel him from the Christian Brothers, even if we had the power to do so," he told the Herald Sun.
"If he is ever released from prison, we believe that we would be doing a service to the community by keeping him where his conduct can be monitored."
Jailing Best on Monday for 11 1/4 years for the abuse of 11 boys, Judge Roy Punshon said his crimes were a grave breach of trust by a teacher and spiritual guide.
Best was a teacher at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, St Leo's College in Box Hill, and St Joseph's College in Geelong.
Br Brandon said most of Best's victims had been compensated under the Catholic Church's Towards Healing process. But one victim called for the program to be scrapped, saying compensation was inadequate.
"We need a public inquiry to ask the church why they transferred offending Christian Brothers from one diocese to another, and what reporting mechanisms they had," he said.


Herald Sun (10-8-2011)
Norrie Ross
http://www.news.com.au/national/religious-order-declares-it-will-continue-to-stand-by-sex-offender-robert-best/story-e6frfkvr-1226112165932

Paedophile still has 'many victims'

A victim of convicted paedophile Robert Best say many people abused by the Christian Brother have not come forward.
Yesterday, Best was jailed for more than 14 years for sexually abusing boys in Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne over a 20-year period between the 1960s and 1980s.
Steven Woods was abused by Best while a student at Ballarat's St Alipius Catholic boys' school and gave evidence at his trial.
He says many people have not spoken publicly about the abuse they suffered.
"The victims who I've been talking to in the court case talk about other victims who have not come forward, other people in Ballarat who have not come forward, people who have suicided," he said.
"Yes we know there are many victims who have not come forward."
Mr Woods says understanding and recognising the trauma abuse causes will help victims to heal.
"Ballarat just really needs to understand that there needs be communication," he said.
"There needs to be understanding but also the church itself needs to be held accountable because they covered up for some many people for some many years."


www.abc.net.au (9-8-2011)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-09/paedophile-still-has-many-victims/2830846

Sins of Brothers demand inquiry

Christian Brother Robert Best, now due to serve out 14 years and nine months in jail, didn't tell us anything about his crimes. From the harrowing statements of those he attacked, however, we know much about the destruction he brought to their lives.
Paedophiles insinuate themselves into environments where they have access to children. The innocence of children, possessed with no intellectual framework within which to understand - let alone explain or report deviously plotted attacks - further minimises any chance of apprehension. We know this means that paedophiles continue unchecked, working from victim to victim with impunity, sometimes targeting children in the same family.
Most of the convictions recorded against Best in this recent trial have been for what we might call relatively minor acts of indecent assault - the simple ''touch up''. It is clear that Best targeted students he found in vulnerable situations - one had a broken collarbone, others were injured on the football field or complained of feeling ill.
He touched them looking for signs of complicity that he might use as an introduction to a more involved sexual encounter. Evidence given during the plea hearing included troubling details of group sexual encounters that Best arranged involving more than one student.
While Best is saying nothing about his crimes, even going so far as to indicate to a psychologist who assessed him that the accusations must be a matter of mistaken identity, it is not difficult to reason that Best's victims may number in the hundreds.
It is a simple truth that other paedophiles at Ballarat's St Alipius school, where Best was the principal, were involved as co-conspirators and offenders in their own right.
St Alipius has the tragic distinction of possessing a teaching staff that included convicted paedophile Brother Edward Dowlan, convicted paedophile Brother Stephen Francis Farrell, and, as school chaplain, convicted paedophile Father Gerald Ridsdale. One victim reports that he confided in his class teacher that Best had raped him. The teacher, also a Christian Brother, forcibly and repeatedly struck the grade 3 child until he retracted the statement.
We know also that, on one occasion, Best was interrupted by another Christian Brother, who, in a gross act of indifference, simply smiled and closed the door. St Alipius was not the only hotspot of paedophilic trouble for the Christian Brothers.
There have been allegations of sexual abuse made by former state wards of the St Augustine's Boys Home in Geelong and the St Vincent's Boys Home in South Melbourne, both run by the Christian Brothers. The police have received reports of sexual abuse in relation to Christian Brothers Donald Pascal Alford, Wilfred Eastmure, William Thomas McGee and Julian Hackett - all of whom had responsibility for the care of adolescent boys in orphanages. These Brothers died before the complaints could be the subject of investigations by the police. Many of these cases have been, or are currently, the subject of civil claims for damages.
But the scars remain because children, suffering attacks such as these from persons in positions of trust and authority over them, are usually left to deal with the burning sense of trauma and frightened bewilderment on their own. Most often attempts are made to bury the memories, but, sadly, the nightmare re-emerges later in life once coping mechanisms fail.
Statements of impact from victims and studies into the psychology of those affected tell a story of catastrophic psychological destabilisation. Many of Best's recent victims said that, during his attacks, they thought they were going to die. They reported experiencing the sort of trauma a soldier might experience in a house-to-house firefight in Iraq, but, here, all we have is an eight-year-old child confronting the fear of dying in the back corner of a classroom his parents told him he would be safe in.
A bipartisan state-led inquiry into criminal activities of various Christian Brothers, the response of the Christian Brothers as an organisation, and the complaints and reporting procedures adopted by them and the broader church is warranted and long overdue.
An inquiry would not only help the families of boys who have since killed themselves (police estimate suicides at somewhere close to 30) come to terms with the suffering of their loved ones, but it may also help more victims still suffering in silence to come forward for treatment. It may also help us as a community to ensure that concentrations of abuse, and organisational conspiracies of silence, no longer blight our young or vulnerable.


www.smh.com.au (9-8-2011)
Dr Vivian Waller is a lawyer representing victims of
Robert Best and other Christian Brothers, one of whom contributed to this piece.
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/contributors/sins-of-brothers-demand-inquiry-20110808-1ij3b.html#ixzz2Uj8GsYtq

Ex-Christian Brother described as 'depraved predator' by one of his victims in court

A former Christian Brother who has admitted a string of indecent assaults on male students at three Victorian schools was a "depraved, sadistic predator", one of his victims has a told a court.
In a victim impact statement, the man, now in his 30s, accused the Catholic Church of complicity in the crimes.
Robert Charles Best has pleaded guilty to 27 offences against 11 victims, including one of buggery of a nine-year-old, after he had initially denied his crimes in court.
At a pre-sentence hearing in the Victorian County Court, the victim said Best had robbed him of his youth and led him to attempt suicide.
"The Church's defence of this monster during his career and later during his defence demonstrates its complicity in the assaults," he told the court.
Best had originally been charged with 43 offences against 14 boys at the schools at which he taught.
He had already been convicted and jailed for other sexual assaults against his students.
One of his victims told how after being raped by Best when he was a nine-year-old in third grade at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, he told another of his teachers, a Brother Fitzgerald.
The brother responded by hitting him, the court heard.
He then asked the boy again what happened and when the boy repeated the claim he was struck again.
After being asked a third time, the boy replied: "Nothing happened, sir."
Prosecutor Amanda Forrester told the court the boy later told his parish priest, who responded with a "backhander" and threatened his life.
"He told him: 'If you tell anyone what happened I will f***ing kill you'," Ms Forrester said.


AAP (25-7-2011)
http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/ex-christian-brother-described-as-depraved-predator-by-one-of-his-victims-in-court/story-e6frfku0-1226101410211

Former St Joseph's student tells of sex monster torment

A FORMER St Joseph's College student sexually abused by a Christian brother at the Geelong school yesterday told his tormentor he was a "monster" and "sadistic predator" who ruined his life.
Robert Charles Best remained outwardly unfazed as his victims looked him in the eye at the County Court and detailed the impact of his "cruel" and "abhorrent" conduct at three schools in Geelong, Ballarat and Box Hill between the 1960s and 1980s.
Best hand-picked the victims he deemed most vulnerable, including a disabled boy, and inflicted sex acts upon them at school camps, swimming lessons, on the football field, in classrooms and his office.
The court was told 70-year-old Best would most likely die in jail after he is sentenced for committing 27 sex-related offences against 11 victims, including one of buggery of a nine-year-old that carries a maximum 20-year prison term.
Best's St Joseph's victim was 11 years old when Best sexually abused him on two occasions at the Newtown school in 1986 in front of another Christian brother, referred to in court as "Brother W", and when the child asked if he could tell his parents he was told: "No. This is our secret."
The victim emotionally read his victim impact statement to a packed courtroom, detailing how Best's crimes caused him to become suicidal, isolated and unable to form relationships with females.
"I can't refer to this monster by his name. I'll call him RB," he said.
"I was a defenceless 11-year-old boy. This bastard robbed me of a normal life and the simple pleasures that came with it. I'm so angry at him. I hate feeling like this. I despise him."
The victim, now in his 30s, also took a swipe at the Catholic Church for funding Best's defence at five criminal trials where he was found guilty of sex acts.
"The church's support of this monster throughout his career and later during his defence, demonstrates complicity in the assault," he said.
"The church's and RB's dogged defence of their crimes has worked to rub salt into the wounds they inflicted. This denial is an affront to justice, by a supposedly just church (and) is deeply offensive to me. It's disgusting.
"Make the church reel with a heavy sentence on this sadistic predator. He's a bully and a f---kin' pervert. His Christianity doesn't mean a thing."
Crown prosecutor Amanda Forrester said a sentence of up to 16 years was required to protect the community from Best and punish him.
"The conduct was predatory, calculated and involved a pattern of behaviour including victim selection which at all levels was completely abhorrent. It was brazen and often public," she said.
She said Best was regarded as a strict disciplinarian and his conduct was "cruel" and "manipulative".
"He certainly ruled with an iron fist. He employed brutal and sadistic methods. He abused trust in the most heinous manner," she said.
But Best's defence lawyer Sarah Lighfield said her client's prison term should not exceed 13 years and asked Judge Roy Punshon to "exercise mercy".
"There is some doubt if he may live to be released," she said.
The court was told Best showed no remorse.
During the pre-sentence hearing yesterday, Best was unmoved as his victims broke down and were unable to read their statements.
Victims from Ballarat's St Alipius and at Box Hill's St Leo's Christian College detailed a life of drug abuse, alcoholism, fractured relationships and depression caused by Best's actions.
One victim sobbed as details of him being hit and told "if you tell anyone what happened I'll f----ng kill you" by a priest he went to confide in.
Ms Forrester said other priests and Christian brothers knew of the abuse and were present when it occurred.
Best remains in custody and will be sentenced on August 8.


Geelong Advertiser (26-7-2011)
Aleks Devic
http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2011/07/26/269691_news.html

Sick: Convicted paedophile Robert Charles Best pleaded guilty this week to six sex abuse-related charges of three boys aged between 11 and 12.
Joeys sex fiend guilty

AN evil Christian brother has confessed to sexually abusing a Geelong St Joseph's schoolboy as part of his 20-year reign of terror.
And police revealed yesterday there could be more charges looming against convicted paedophile Robert Charles Best with more complaints being aimed at the former teacher.
The Christian Brothers yesterday also confirmed it had forked out millions of dollars for Best's long and drawn out trials where top barristers, that included Queen's Counsel and Senior Counsel, were hired to get him off dozens of charges.
It can now be revealed Best, who has close links to Cardinal George Pell, pleaded guilty this week to six sex abuse-related charges of three boys aged between 11 and 12.
Information on the 70-year-old pervert's court cases were suppressed until this week after he faced six back-to-back trials spanning a year.
Separate juries convicted him on 21 charges during four trials after he pleaded not guilty.
At another two trials for rape and indecent assault he was acquitted.
Another one of Best's alleged victims died by their own hand after the court committal hearing and the case never proceeded to trial.
In all, the 70-year-old's cruel conduct against 11 young boys occurred between 1969 and 1988 and he has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 27 charges.
The offending at Newtown's St Joseph's College, to which he pleaded guilty this week, occurred between 1986 and 1988 and charges stemming from his vile actions include two counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of indecent assault.
Best taught at St Joseph's between 1985 and 1989 and was the year 8 co-ordinator.
He also admitted this week to three sex offences against two children at Box Hill's St Leo's College between 1975 and 1977.
Best's victims were all students from either St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, where he was the headmaster, St Leo's College, Box Hill and Newtown's St Joseph's College.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson, who has overseen the investigation, told the Geelong Advertiser he hoped Best's guilty plea would give some satisfaction to the victims.
But he said there were still several alleged victims out there.
"Sadly, I know there are more out there," he said.
"I have got some other statements that indicate further incidents of (alleged) abuse.
"I am aware there are a lot more out there.
"I hope it's (the guilty plea) comforting for those people.
"There has been a lot of sadness, terrible sadness for those families and children."
The Christian Brothers Oceania this week issued a media statement and apologised to the students who were abused.
Executive officer Br Brian Brandon said the Christian brothers were "deeply saddened for by these events", especially by the great distress and suffering caused to these victims and families.
Best was remanded in custody and will return to court on July 25 where the full details of his misconduct will be heard.


Geelong Advertiser (1-6-2011)
Aleks Devic
http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2011/06/01/261151_news.html


Christian brother Robert Charles Best faces justice at last

A Christian Brother has been found guilty of sexually abusing 11 children at three schools across Victoria, after six trials over a reign of terror that lasted between 1969 and 1988.
Robert Charles Best 70, yesterday pleaded guilty to two sex offences against two children at St Leo's College in Box Hill between 1975 and 1977 and two sex offences against one child at St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in Geelong between 1986 and 1988.
Best was the principal of St Alipius Parish School in Ballarat in the 1960s and '70s where he worked alongside notorious pedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale.
Best's pleas at his seventh trial brought an end to three years of legal drama that costs millions of dollars in taxpayer funds.
Judges ordered Best's victims to endure six separate trials at which he fought the charges at every turn.
The delays in bringing Best to justice led one complainant to commit suicide before his case came to trial.
Attorney-General Robert Clark said last night the law that allowed Best to have his charges heard separately could be changed so it doesn't happen again.
Best has been convicted of 27 sex offences, against men who are now aged between 37 and 51.
At four of his trials he was found guilty by a jury of 20 counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated buggery.
At another two trials for rape and indecent assault he was acquitted.
Yesterday he pleaded guilty to offences against three children.
Best was first charged in June 2008.In a statement yesterday Christian Brothers Oceania said it had offered sincere and unreserved apologies to several former students sexually abused by Best.


Herald Sun 31-5-2011
James Campbell
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/christian-brother-robert-charles-best-faces-justice-at-last/story-fn7x8me2-1226066047141

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