Two new accusers say George Pell abused them when they were boys in the 1970s
For years Bernie was convinced that if he reported the abuse, he would not be believed.
"I would hear Pell's become Bishop," Bernie says. "Pell's become Archbishop. Pell's become a Cardinal. Who's gonna believe a little boy from a home against that conglomerate? You know against that bloody goliath?"
This is the first time Bernie has told his story publicly, but in March 2016, Victoria Police contacted Bernie as part of a wide-ranging investigation of historical sexual abuse allegations against Pell.
That investigation led to Pell's conviction on charges of abusing two choir boys in Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral in the 1990s.
Additional allegations, including Bernie's, were either withdrawn, dismissed or dropped when a planned second trial of George Pell was abandoned by the Victorian DPP.
Pell is currently in prison, awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the high court against his conviction. Pell says he is innocent of all sexual abuse allegations.
Bernie was abandoned by his mother at birth in 1966. He was made a ward of the state and placed in a Catholic orphanage in Ballarat, run by the Sisters of Nazareth.
Bernie says he met Father George Pell at the home when he was a young boy and came to look on him as a father figure.
He remembers Pell being in the home at shower time.
"Before I know it, he's soaping my genitals … soaping me all over … rubbing his hand up my butt crack and 'wash there properly' and all this sort of stuff."
Bernie says he remembers a particular occasion when Pell touched his penis.
"He was lathering me up and he pulled my foreskin over the head of my penis and that hurt, that really hurt. … he said it's normal, it won't hurt as much as the time goes on."
During the 2018 committal proceedings at Melbourne Magistrates' Court, Pell's defence team argued that Pell had only been to Nazareth House once, in 1980 when the home was closing. The current regional superior of the Sisters of Nazareth, Sister Margaret O'Keefe told the ABC that Father Pell had never been to the home.
A second boy from Nazareth House, Peter Clarke, claims that George Pell indecently touched him in the swimming pool at the boys' hom...