One of Cardinal George Pell’s alleged victims has welcomed news Australia's most senior Catholic cleric was interviewed by Victoria Police detectives over child sexual abuse allegations.
Lyndon Monument praised the work of Taskforce SANO detectives who flew to the Vatican this week to probe Cardinal Pell.
“Well done to Taskforce SANO for going to the Vatican, I hope justice will prevail,” he said.
Police are investigating multiple allegations of sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980, and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.
The allegations include claims Cardinal Pell touched children's genitals while they swam at Ballarat’s Eureka public pool.
Cardinal Pell has maintained his innocence and released a robust rebuttal.
In a statement, Cardinal Pell's office said he "repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse".
Mr Monument alleged to ABC’s 7.30 Report in July, that Cardinal Pell abused him by putting his hand down the front of his bathers during a game in the water at the pool.
Another man also made a complaint to Taskforce SANO about Cardinal Pell's alleged behaviour while undressed at the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club in the 1980s.
In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed "three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault".
"As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time," the statement said.
Cardinal Pell was a larger-than-life figure at the Eureka pool during the summers of the late 1970s and popular with children.
He was known as “big George," a “man mountain” who would throw children off his shoulders and into the pool on hot summer days.
Bright coloured ribbons were tied to the gates of the empty pool on Wednesday afternoon.
The ribbons are a part of the Loud Fence movement as a symbol of solidarity with sexual abuse victims across Ballarat.
Ballarat clergy abuse survivor Andrew Collins said while victims were pleased Victoria Police have interviewed Cardinal Pell, they understood there was a legal process that must be followed.
“Survivors understand that this is just a part of process and that we must not jump to any conclusions until the investigation is complete,” Mr Collins said.
“This is a positive step for Pell’s alleged victims but we must remember that Pell is innocent in the eyes of the law at this stage.”
• To contact CASA, located on the corner of Vale and Edwards streets, Sebastopol, call 5320 3933 or free call 24 hours 1800 806 292. Lifeline can be accessed on 13 11 14.
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