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Jailed Christian Brother admits more abuse

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A predatory Christian Brother who raped and molested schoolboys across Victoria for two decades has admitted to more vile crimes.

Robert Charles Best, 75, on Friday pleaded guilty to 22 sex offences that occurred in Ballarat, Box Hill and Geelong between 1968 and 1988.

The former teacher is currently serving a sentence of 14 years and nine months for sex offences against 11 boys at three schools over a 20-year period.

The Christian Brothers Oceania Province issued an apology for Best's "betrayal of trust" following Friday's court hearing.

However the pedophile remains a Christian Brother and when asked about this a spokesman for the order refused to comment.

The order has paid more than $1 million in Best's legal fees over the years.

Best entered his plea in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court via videolink from prison, dressed in a green tracksuit.

In 2011, Victorian County Court Judge Roy Punshon ordered Best to serve a minimum of 11 years and three months for the "great damage and misery" he caused to his victims.

Judge Punshon said every one of Best's victims was a vulnerable student. Some were molested while they were ill or injured.

This year the police task force established to investigate child sex abuse allegations arising from Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into the issue laid 39 fresh charges against Best.

Seventeen were struck out following his admissions on Friday.

The latest offending relates to 15 boys although it's unclear if some of those victims were also the subject of earlier charges.

Best taught at St Leo's Christian Brothers College at Box Hill, St Joseph's College in Geelong and St Alipius primary school at Ballarat where, as the principal, he raped a nine-year-old student.

Since 1996, six juries have convicted Best of sexual assaults against young boys.

Best will face the Victorian County Court on February 20 for a plea hearing.

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