Christian Brother Robert Best faces child-sex charges

An elderly Christian Brother who spent decades teaching in Victorian Catholic schools has been charged with 39 offences, including child sex abuse. Robert Charles Best, 75, now living in Ararat in western Vctoria, is alleged to have committed acts of indecent assault over a 20-year period, according to charge sheets filed with the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 2 September 2016.

Police allege that Best committed 17 counts of indecent assault, one count of assault and one count of unlawful imprisonment between 1968 and 1973 in Ballarat.

He is also charged with committing an act of buggery with a child under the age of 14, as well as one count of assault and 15 counts of indecent assault in Box Hill between 1975 and 1982.

The former teacher is further charged with three counts of indecent assault in Geelong in 1987 and 1988.

The charges were laid by the Sano Taskforce, which was established by Victoria Police to investigate historical and fresh allegations of child sex abuse arising from Victoria's parliamentary inquiry into sex abuse at religious and non-government organisations.

Brother Best was not required to appear in court for the September 2 procedure.

Brother Best taught at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, St Leo's College in Box Hill (in Melbourne's East), and St Joseph's College in Geelong between 1969 and 1988.

The case is due to return to court in November 2016 for a further preliminary mention.