The nine-year-old Mortlake boy raped in a confessional box by a notorious pedophile priest in the early 1980s has dedicated his landmark legal settlement payout to others abused by clergy members who have taken their own lives.
The Catholic Church has settled the multi-million-dollar Supreme Court lawsuit, which is expected to lead to a string of settlements based on the estimated payout figure and the legal liability precedent.
The victim, known as JCB, said he was relieved the legal process was over after being involved in both criminal and civil cases.
"Nothing will make up for what happened to me and so many others," he said.
"I feel we have achieved something for myself and the others caught up in this mess. I feel we held the church accountable and I feel vindicated.
"My main bone of contention was that this should have been prevented, that's what really enraged me. I should never have been a victim, that was the biggest thing I've had to deal with."
The victim said he hoped the civil litigation process would now be easier for those who follow.
"It's also something very real for the people who didn't make it, those victims who took their own lives, some of whom I know," he said.
"We've held the church accountable and I hope that's some small recognition, some small solace, for the families of those who are not with us.
"The church didn't get away with it."
JCB said one way he coped when he was young was through his belief the church authorities would do the right thing.
"I had the blind assumption that when the bishop (Mulkearns) found out about what was happening he would come and sort it all out," he said.
"It never happened and when his knowledge about the abuse was revealed it was crushing. We were not talking about one bad apple, we were talking about the whole orchard."
JCB also thanked his lawyers Chris Atmore, Judy Courtin and David O'Brien.
"Chris, Judy and David are more than my solicitors, they are my friends and involved for all the right reasons," he said.
It is the first civil case in which the Catholic Church admitted liability for the actions of a pedophile clergy member.
Experts estimate the case was resolved for between $2 million and $3 million, but combined legals costs - for the plaintiff and the church, of about $1.5 million - will be taken out of that figure.
The case is expected to have a massive impact on hundreds of other law suits filed in the courts.
Defrocked priest Gerald Ridsdale was moved from parish to parish within the Ballarat Diocese, starting at St Alipius in Ballarat, before serving at Warrnambool, Inglewood, Apollo Bay, Edenhope and eventually Mortlake.
He admitted molesting hundreds of children.
The Standard published a story in the mid 1990s which proved Bishop Mulkearns knew about complaints from Inglewood in 1975 after a police officer became involved and informed the bishop of the complaint against Ridsdale.
The case is one of two south-west law suits with the potential to set dangerously high in-court case payout precedents for the Catholic Church.
The church has not had a court rule on a case yet and has been eager to resolve cases through mediation.
A sticking point for victims during settlement negotiations is that if a plaintiff knocks back an offer and a final judgement is less then the church had to pay, the victim would have to cover the church's and his own costs of running the court case.
Because there is not a court case precedent, yet, the amount a judge would award, including exemplary damages, is completely unknown and in legal circles is viewed as high risk litigation.
Exemplary damages could involve a punitive payout against the church for failing to act.
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