'The family of a man who died of a heroin overdose 17 years after he was sexually assaulted by Cardinal George Pell have revealed their son's downward spiral after the abuse.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in the choir at St Kevin's College in Toorak, having been admitted to the prestigious school on a choir scholarship.
He loved to sing, and his father told Four Corners he had been a 'lovely boy' devoted to his family. But in December 1996, he and his friend, both 13, were caught playing in the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral after Sunday Solemn Mass.
His friend told the County Court in Victoria Pell had walked in and said: 'Something like, "What are you doing here" or "You're in trouble",' before grabbing the boy's head and pulling it towards his exposed penis.
The friend told the court Pell turned to him next, forcing him to perform oral sex before fondling him as he touched himself.
Changes in the young boy were almost instant.
'His schoolwork, I noticed that it started slipping. His whole attitude changed. His whole being just, he was a different boy,' the father of the deceased choirboy said said.
Within a year of the abuse taking place, the boy had left his prestigious school, as had his friend, and turned to heroin.'
Read more: 'He was a different boy': Father of one of the choirboys sexually abused by George Pell reveals how his life spiralled out of control and was using heroin within a year of the abuse
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