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Chief Commissioner: Police do not consider any sexual assault of a minor “plain, vanilla offending”

Victoria’s police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says investigators would never consider the sexual assault of a minor as “a plain, vanilla offence”.

Yesterday Robert Richter QC representing Cardinal George Pell used the term in court to describe the then archbishop’s abuse of two teenage boys, including the sexual penetration of one of them,  in 1996.

“Well we certainly don’t treat them as plain vanilla offending,” Mr Ashton told Neil Mitchell.

“We’ve done a lot in terms of investigating sexual offending over the last 10 years, there’s been a lot of reforms in that area.

“The way we interview, we traveled internationally, the experts we got in, we’re almost the world leaders in interviewing the victims of sexual offending.”

Neil asked if Mr Ashton personally considered the term offensive.

“I think it’s probably a question you’d need to ask any victim of sexual offending, whether they find that term offensive and I’m pretty sure I know what answer you’d get.”

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Mr Ashton also confirmed police are not investigating any further cases relating to Cardinal Pell.

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