A defrocked former Catholic priest from Ballarat could soon be extradited to the United States to face a series of fresh sexual abuse charges.
Paul David Ryan, 72, has been indicted in the state of Virginia for the alleged crimes that took place when he was still an ordained priest in 1979.
According to the charges filed in America, "under the pretense of a church-sanctioned outing, Father Paul David Ryan took [the victim] on a ski trip to Massanutten Resort in Rockingham County, Virginia where he had arranged for the two of them to stay at a house together at the resort."
On that trip, Ryan allegedly sexually assaulted the victim twice, who was under the age of 18 at the time.
He was working as Star of the Sea Parish and the affiliated Star of the Sea School both in Virginia Beach at the time.
Ryan was in America because Catholic authorities in Australia became concerned about his sexual activity with other seminarians when he was training to be a priest in Melbourne in the 1970s, according to The Age.
He was jailed for a minimum term of 17 months in July, 2019 for other historic child sexual abuse convictions.
The latest charges in the US stem from an ongoing investigation by the Virginia's Attorney-General and its state police into whether criminal sexual abuse of children occurred in Virginia's Catholic dioceses.
"Our investigation with Virginia State Police into potential clergy abuse in the Commonwealth remains ongoing and I want to encourage anyone who may have more information about this case or any other instances of abuse to please reach out to us as soon as possible," said Attorney General Mark Herring.
"I understand that coming forward with this kind of experience can be difficult or scary, but I pledge to you that, no matter how long ago the incident occurred, we will take it seriously and ensure that you get the support and help that you need and deserve."
Affected by this story? There is help available. You can phone the Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault, in Sebastopol, on 5320 3933, or free-call the crisis care line 24 hours on 1800 806 292. Or phone Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380, or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.