Police were first alerted to child abuse allegations against Sydney dance teacher, Grant Davies, in 2007, but it was another six years before Davies was arrested on multiple child sex charges in 2013, the Royal Commission was told this month.
During that time, Davies’ actions escalated, according to witness BZP, one of several of Davies’ students who made a complaint to police in 2007.
A former teacher at RG Dance, the studio Davies ran with his sister, raised her concerns about Davies with BZP’s parents, who complained to the police. But police informed the family that the case was not strong enough to proceed.
The Royal Commission also heard from the mother of Davies’ students, who had taken nude photos of her own daughters, then aged nine and 10, to send to Davies. She wept as she told the Royal Commission she was blinded by ambition and fell under Davies’ spell.
In September last year, Davies pleaded guilty to 47 child sex offences. He is due to be sentenced in May.
Earlier this month, Cardinal George Pell gave evidence to the Royal Commission from a luxury hotel in Rome. The 74-year-old Cardinal spent 20 hours in the witness box over four days with perhaps just one slip-up – his now infamous comment: “It’s a sad story, and it wasn’t of much interest to me.”
Pell also fielded a barrage of questions from the media, defending his ‘wooden image’. “I am not wooden inside,’’ he said. “I’m a bit buttoned up … the way I was trained, way I survive … you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
After facing the Royal Commission, Pell met with Ballarat survivors who had travelled to Rome to front the Cardinal. Pell described the meeting as “hard and honest”.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi praised Cardinal Pell for his “dignified and coherent personal testimony” to the Royal Commission, but criticised the media for its sensationalist coverage of Pell’s evidence.