Royal Commission told that cricket coach abused boys for years
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard further evidence of abuse of young people within sport.
Three men who were molested by their cricket coach as young boys fought back tears as they told the Royal Commission of their fears the man had gone on to abuse other victims.
Troy Quagliata was 13 when he was first abused by cricket coach Bob Ross, telling the commission he felt powerless to fight off his advances or report the assaults.
Quagliata told the Royal Commission “we weren't allowed to question or argue with an adult.
"I felt I had to do what Bob said no matter what."
Quagliata, now 40, told the Royal Commission the coach would pay him $50 each time he assaulted him, leaving him with permanent internal injuries and psychological damage.
He added "I would feel disgusting every time Bob abused me. I hated what he did to me."
In his statement, tendered to the commission, Quagliata said he resorted to using drugs to cope with the abuse.
He explained "I just buried it and it stayed buried.
"But it started eating me up inside. When I was about 16 years old, I began to use drugs just to deal with what he did to me."
Quagliata told the Royal Commission he had been jailed three times on drug-related offences and called for tougher sentences for child sex abusers.
The Royal Commission heard he reported the coach to police in 2002 because he feared more children were at risk.
The Royal Commission heard Queensland Police charged Ross with more than 50 child sex offences in October 2014 but he committed suicide before the matter went to court.
Another witness, who was nine when Ross started to molest him in the 1980s, told the hearing into sex abuse in sports clubs that rumours about the coach were rife in his country town, which cannot be identified for legal reasons.
"Throughout the school and the cricket club there were running jokes between the boys that Bob was a kiddy fiddler," said the witness, given the pseudonym BXI. "I was afraid of becoming part of the joke."
The commission heard BXI wanted to tell his father Ross was abusing him but was concerned he would "fill Bob with lead".
When Ross turned up to BXI's father's funeral in 2001, he said it "sparked a fight in me like never before."
He told the Royal Commission he had suffered drug and alcohol abuse and struggled to control his aggression, saying Ross was "a nasty memory that I went to war with every day".
He explained “sexual abuse destroys every little aspect of your mind, body and soul.
"When you peel back the layers of a sexual abuse victim, you find a web of utter destruction."
The witness called for improved mental health services for sexual abuse survivors, a recommendation supported by the Royal Commission.
A third victim, given the pseudonym BXE, told the commission he was first abused by Ross when he was 13 and was forced to protect his younger brother from the paedophile.
All three victims told the commission they had never been offered support from Cricket Australia, Queensland Cricket or the local cricket club where they were abused.
The hearing continues.
22nd September 2015 - FORMER DANCE TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND SEX ABUSE CHARGES
9th September 2015 - EXPERTS CALL FOR MORE EFFORT TO TACKLE CHILD TRAFFICKING THROUGH SPORT
5th December 2014 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA TO CONDUCT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REVIEW
3rd July 2014 - YMCA NSW APOLOGISES FOR FAILING TO PROTECT CHILDREN
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