WITNESS J in the Pell case. I am content. Do not be discouraged.

I respect the decision of the High Court. I accept the outcome.In a statement  Witness J said he respected and accepted the court’s decision and thanked police for their work.

I respect the decision of the High Court. I accept the outcome.

I understand their view that there was not enough evidence to satisfy the court beyond all reasonable doubt that the offending occurred.

I understand that the High Court is saying that the prosecution did not make out the case to the required standards of proof.

There are a lot of checks and balances in the criminal justice system and the appeal process is one of them. I respect that.

It is difficult in child sexual abuse matters to satisfy a criminal court that the offending has occurred beyond the shadow of a doubt.

It is a very high standard to meet — a heavy burden.

I understand why criminal cases must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

No-one wants to live in a society where people can be imprisoned without due and proper process.

This is a basic civil liberty. But the price we pay for weighting the system in favour of the accused is that many sexual offences against children go unpunished.

That’s why it remains important that everyone who can report to the police does so.

I would hate to think that one outcome of this case is that people are discouraged from reporting to the police.

I would like to reassure child sexual abuse survivors that most people recognise the truth when they hear it.

They know the truth when they look it in the face. I am content with that.

I would like to thank the police and the Office of Public Prosecutions for their work. I have felt well supported through this journey.

My journey has been long and I am relieved it is over. I have my ups and downs. The darkness is never far away.

Despite the stress of the legal process and public controversy I have tried hard to keep myself together. I am OK. I hope that everyone who has followed this case is OK.

I thank the media for respecting my privacy and for continuing to protect my identity. This has allowed me to stay on track with my recovery and wellbeing.

This case does not define me. I am a man who came forward for my friend who, sadly, is no longer with us.

I am a man doing my best to be a loving dad, partner, son, brother and friend.

I am doing my best to find and hold joy in my life and to provide a safe and loving home for my family.

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13 Responses to WITNESS J in the Pell case. I am content. Do not be discouraged.

  1. Michael Furtado says:

    Your words truly touched me as I too experienced abuse (in an overseas jurisdiction) at the hands of a child molester. It destroyed my confidence, many relationships and my subsequent marriage. However, your success in coming forward and speaking your truth, in addition to the Victorian Court’s decision, speaks in eloquent testimony of your courage in coming forward as well as your credibility. This has brought a kind of healing to me in that the grace you have shown in this statement suggests a way forward towards a long-overdue process of conscience-examination followed by reparative justice by the Church, which is the only way to bring closure to its appalling history of deceit and cover-up.

  2. Rose Marie Crowe says:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” That is what you are, so blessed in your innocence, your integrity, your courage and your readiness to let go of bitterness and vindictiveness. You have ever been God’s beloved child, ever more so now, a shining light for so many who have been lost in darkness. As Easter shows us, goodness overcomes evil every time. Thank you.

  3. Hugh Thompson says:

    Wow what a statement of acceptance of the difficult situation this man has faced

  4. Graeme lawler says:

    Witness J your calm considered statements show a remarkable absence of anger after what you have been through which could be helpful to other victims, one of whom from the 1990s has confided in me over the past three years.

  5. Carmel Brown says:

    Wow! I am not aware that your wise response was captured by media. Thanks for your dignity. You have made your mark.

  6. Kevin Gillam says:

    The decency and good grace you have shown throughout an ordeal that has occupied a good part of your life clearly demonstrates your integrity.
    Thank-you for staying with this case, those who have done the research know the truth.

    Hoping you are able to move on and wishing you and your family all the very best.

  7. William Dejong says:

    Thank you Witness J for your grace and courage. I wish you and your family well.

    I am struck by your comment that the price we pay for weighting the system in favour of the accused is that many sexual offences against children go unpunished. I hope that others who have suffered also have the courage to report to the police and thereby continue to bring sexual abuse to public attention so that in time society can move beyond this issue.

  8. Mary Tehan says:

    We believe you. We believe in you. Bless you and your life.

  9. Valerie Armstrong says:

    Thank you for your courage I admire you for your honesty. It must have been tragic to watch your friend die in spirit as well as in body,both of you are true HEROES. Thank you.

  10. Colin Cook says:

    Bravo indeed – wonderful courage and tenacity.

  11. Jim KABLE says:

    A technicality nearly 60 years ago saw my molester walk free. Those who have been through the courts seeking justice – albeit not in the glare of the world as for you – understand your experience and believe you. Requiescat in pace – your mate! All good things to you in your future. The church has condemned itself.

  12. Trish Martin says:

    Bravo Witness J. I am in full admiration for your personal integrity, courage and willingness to write this piece so that we know that you are OK.

  13. Rex Williams says:

    Witness J,

    You have been through a lot, not only the original sad event but the legal process in this country which is seriously complex, extends over long periods of time and through many laboured avenues of analysis and investigation, as you have said.

    There would likely be thousands who have had experiences with errant religious people who over time have made use of their positions to engage in acts of indecency. Sadly it does allow children to be very vulnerable in such circumstances as recent events have demonstrated.
    Your case has made parents and authorities far more aware of such dangers.

    I am sure this whole country is pleased with the fact that you have been able to maintain some semblance of what is regarded by most people as a normal life, confirmed today in your note, above.

    The best of luck to you and yours. Enjoy your life.

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