Lawyers for a former Ballarat priest who was shuffled from parish to parish and has pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes tried to have the case delayed because of the "anti-priest sentiment" after the George Pell case.
The attempt to adjourn the case against Paul David Ryan was made after the news that Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of abusing two choirboys boys became public last month.
It is understood Ryan's defence lawyers were worried the former priest - who was shuffled from parish to parish by the late Bishop Ronald Mulkearns - would not receive a fair trial in the wake of the Pell verdict because of the "anti-priest sentiment" in the community.
The County Court judge dismissed the application and on Tuesday, Ryan pleaded guilty to three offences following an investigation by Detective Senior Constable Jason Rowles.
Ryan pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 in Warrnambool in 1981, the oral sexual penetration of a teenager in Lower Plenty in 1985 and an indecent act with a child under the age of 16 in Ararat in 1992.
Former Warrnambool police detective Colin Ryan, whose investigation in 2006 led to Ryan's first criminal conviction for molesting two altar boys in the south-east Victorian town of Penshurst, said he was relieved to see more victims get justice.
"My investigation showed that Paul David Ryan was sponsored into the seminary by Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns, knowing he had a history of being kicked out of the Adelaide seminary," he said.
"Bishop Mulkearns was advised Paul David Ryan should not be admitted and yet he was sponsored, continued through the seminary and went on to offend against children."
Ryan was sentenced to 18 months in jail in 2006.
Helen Watson said her son Peter, who suicided at the age of 24, was abused by Ryan in Ararat in 1991.
"Peter could never get justice. To me, knowing some of the other victims, today's outcome is justice," she told The Age.
"That's all I ever wanted - Ryan to be put back in jail. He is an evil man and the church was just as guilty."
Abuse allegations were made even before Ryan was ordained as a priest in 1976 and almost everywhere he worked - from Ballarat to Warrnambool, Terang, Penshurst and Ararat - until he was defrocked in 1993.
The Catholic Church paid for him to go to the United States in 1985 and 1988 and, according to evidence given to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the church also paid-out two boys who said Ryan abused them there.
Ryan himself told the commission that the church "buried their head in the sand" about the cluster of paedophile priests that operated in Ballarat.
"Okay, let's try and avoid making this a scandal," Ryan said.
Ryan worked alongside prolific paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale in Ararat in the early 1990s and told the commission that Ridsdale suggested he join him in abusing boys.
"I got the impression that he wanted me to join him and others doing these sorts of things and it just repelled me," Ryan claimed.
A man known only as BDP told the commission he had gone to Ararat to inquire about becoming a priest and came face-to-face with Ryan, who he said abused him when he was 17 years old.
BDP reported this to Bishop Mulkearns, who ignored his allegation.
"Mulkearns did not act surprised. He did not seem to display any emotional response at all," BDP said.
The commission heard that Pell was present during meetings that advised Mulkearns on the removal and re-appointment of priests in the 1970s.
Pell was questioned at the commission about Ryan but denied he knew about the allegations against the priest in the Ballarat diocese in 1977.
"No, not - not in these - no, not in paedophilia terms," he told the commission in 2016.
However, he said Ryan had an "unusual style".
Ryan was remanded in custody by Judge Mark Dean on Tuesday to face a plea hearing on May 13.