Gerald Francis Ridsdale, an Australian laicised Catholic priest, was convicted between 1993 and 2017 of a large number of child sexual abuse and indecent assault charges against 65 children aged as young as four years. The offences occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s while Ridsdale worked as a school chaplain at St Alipius Primary School, a boys‘ boarding school in the Victorian regional city of Ballarat. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that senior figures in the church knew about Ridsdale's abusing children but protected him. Ridsdale was ordained at St Patrick's Cathedral in Ballarat in 1961. The first complaint about his behaviour towards children was received by the church that same year. Ridsdale held 16 different appointments over a period of 29 years as a priest, with an average of 1.8 years per appointment.
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