George Pell's accuser did not tell anyone about the abuse he suffered for almost 20 years. New documents have now revealed why.
He's been called the choirboy, "The Kid", the complainant, Pell's accuser, "Witness J" and simply "A".
Not much is known about the man whose testimony saw Cardinal George Pell jailed for historical child sex offences, but court documents released this week provide an insight into his life and how the abuse impacted him.
Pell was found guilty in December 2018 on five counts of sex offences against two 13-year-old boys, but the verdict was not publicly released until February this year.
In her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, journalist Louise Milligan describes Pell's accuser, who she called The Kid, as an ideal witness from a Police Point of view.
"The Kid has not led a chequered life," Milligan notes in her book.
"He's university educated, he hasn't had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he's a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way, and in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy.
"He's managed, just, to keep it together. He's been able to compartmentalise. He's the sort of complainant you'd want as a Victoria Police detective alleging historic crime."
This week a Victorian court ruled against an appeal to Pell's conviction, and its 324-page judgment contains interactions that took place during the original trial. In these pages, the voice of Pell's accuser can be heard and they tell the story of his abuse.
WHY DIDN'T YOU TALK ABOUT IT?
One of the questions that A was pressed on during cross-examination was if the abuse really happened, he would have discussed it with his friend, known as B.
"If it happened, either you or (B) would have asked each other, 'What are we going to do?', wouldn't you?" Pell's lawyer asked.
A answered: "No, I think you're assuming so much about us. I think you're assuming that we were, um, across … across timelines and historical dates and also across the gravity of such an incident. We were … we were young kids. We were just trying to get by and we had no, no … we didn't want to rock any boats. It's the last thing we wanted to do.
"We were nursing, we were carrying forward a lot of hopes and dreams of our working-class families, and it meant so much to us to maintain and preserve what we had, and the fact that that happened and … and didn't happen so quickly, it started and finished such a quick, quick amount of time and that we went back resuming life and not much really infiltrated us after that.
"So we continued trying to live our lives as we were before. … I mean, how is that unreasonable? How is that unreasonable to try and, and explain that to you?
"How can you think that we were so pragmatic and tactical about everything that we would be discussing the nature of … of going forward or … why would I ask (B) why his mother, ah, was or wasn't informed when I didn't even want to think about it myself?"
WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ANYONE?
A finally reported the abuse to police in June 2015, B died in 2014 without ever having made a complaint.
One explanation A gave for why he stayed silent for so long was that he could not comprehend what had happened to him.
"Part of the way I dealt with it was not to speak to anyone about it and to completely push it into the darkest corners and recesses of my brain," he said.
"It was completely an anomaly … out of stream … completely against the grain of how we were living our lives … it came into our lives and it exited just as quickly."
'I COULDN'T BEAR LETTING EVERYONE DOWN'
The other explanation A gave was that he didn't want to do anything to jeopardise his future at the exclusive St Kevin's College. Both boys attended the school on choral scholarships and the hopes of many in his family rested on A.
A was asked whether it had occurred to him that he should warn B, after the second incident, that there might be "a continuing interest in him". A said it had not and, when asked to explain, he said:
"Because the incidents were isolated, where they were compartmentalised and they were pushed away from my normality. They were absolutely isolated and ripped out of my mainframe which was … which was heading towards trying to be a young academic, you know, kid in a rich school trying to survive and trying to get through and trying to impress everyone in my family and trying to … to do something that … that I had the … I hadn't done before, you know. That meant a lot to me.
"And the fact that … that that was jeopardised, and the fact that … and it didn't matter what jeopardised it. I could not bear the fact of … of letting down everyone in my life.
"Everyone around me had a lot of hopes in me on attending St Kevin's, you know. That was the main drive. I wanted to stay at St Kevin's. I wanted to be a part of that school, and I wanted to succeed in a rich private school environment. And I wanted that with my own head."
IT TOOK COURAGE
A did finally come forward after attending the funeral of his friend.
"It's something I've carried for the whole of my life, … and coming forward took a … took a courage much later on for me to be able to even think about coming forward," he told the court.
He sheds more light on this statement after the appeal decision was announced this week.
A said he "felt a responsibility to come forward" after attending his friend's funeral four years ago.
"I knew that he had been in a dark place. I had been in a dark place," he said.
"I gave a statement to the police because I was thinking of him and his family. I felt that I should say what I saw and what had happened to me. I had experienced something terrible as a child, and I wanted some good to come of it."
The choirboy hoped the criminal process was all over now.
"The journey has taken me to places that, in my darkest moments, I feared I could not return from," he said.
He has now started a new chapter of his life as a father.
"I am grateful for a legal system that everyone can believe in, where everybody is equal before the law and no one is above the law."
THE ABUSE DESTROYED LIVES
The father of B, who died aged 31 from a drug overdose, shed tears of relief when Pell's appeal was dismissed.
"For myself, that was a great load lifted off my shoulders, it really was," he told reporters.
"I'm sad that my son's not here to see it. I'm really happy for the other victim."
Unlike A, the father is pursuing compensation through a civil claim against Pell.
"Something must have happened to those boys because my son suffered a lot of torment," he said.
"It destroyed my marriage, it destroyed my life and my ex-wife's life and my daughter's.
"But to get a verdict like that — it's absolutely amazing."