Victorian taxpayers paid for his state-funeral today where the Premier took centre-stage lavishing praise on a man regarded by Victoria Police sources as a serial and predatory pedophile who escaped justice.
Premier Ted Baillieu said Rose would forever be remembered as one of Victoria’s greatest champions and a national treasure.
"There was, and remains, only one Lionel," Mr Baillieu told mourners.
"People genuinely loved him and felt protective of him.
"He was a thoroughly decent and gentle soul.
"He inspired us, he charmed us and he in turn grew up with us."
As this disturbing Herald Sun report makes clear he was also accused of sexually abusing children as young as eleven years old. Sources have told VEXNEWS the incidents described below were not isolated. Other incidents of a similar kind relating to obtaining oral gratification from minors were also in circulation in Melbourneâ€™s media community. Rose was never charged by Victoria Police for child sex offences.
POLICE QUIZ LIONEL ROSE EXCLUSIVE: SEX ABUSE ALLEGATION
27 October 2004
By: Craig Binnie
BOXING legend Lionel Rose has been interviewed by police over a girl’s claim he sexually abused her when she was 11.
The girl’s family yesterday sought an intervention order to keep Mr Rose away from the girl and her mother.
The application followed a confrontation that allegedly forced the family to flee their home and spend Monday night in emergency police accommodation.
In her application for the order, the girl’s mother said Mr Rose got out of a car outside her home with his hand behind his back. He was allegedly persuaded to get back in the car by his sister.
The court will hear the intervention order application next month and Mr Rose will have an opportunity to respond.
The confrontation follows two weeks of investigations by the Herald Sun into the sexual abuse claim. Mr Rose has refused repeated invitations by the Herald Sun over the past week to respond to the allegation.
The Herald Sun has a statutory declaration signed by the girl describing the alleged abuse.
In a video-taped interview, the girl told police she locked herself in her bedroom and cried herself to sleep after the alleged incident in late 2001.
The Herald Sun has chosen not to publish details of what is alleged to have happened because of its graphic nature.
The girl, now 14, who lives in a Victorian town with relatives, said she was initially afraid to tell anyone what allegedly happened because she thought she would be blamed.
Police said Mr Rose denied any wrong-doing when interviewed last year.
Detectives told the family the case was closed, unless they received fresh information.
In the interview with police, the girl described in detail what she alleged Mr Rose did.
She alleged that when she tried to get away, the former world boxing champion grabbed her and forced her to continue.
“After some time he let me go and I ran to my bedroom,” she told the Herald Sun.
“I locked my bedroom door and cried until I
fell asleep,” the girl said.
She said Rose gave her $5 the next morning but did not mention the alleged incident.
The girl said she only realised what she alleges happened was not her fault when a friend told of her experience of being molested by her stepfather.
“I asked her what molested meant and when she told me I said that that had happened to me too,” the girl claimed.
When approached by the Herald Sun on Sunday, Mr Rose denied knowing the girl.
“Don’t know who you are talking about mate,” he said.
“I can’t comment about anything mate, sorry.”
But Mr Rose now stands accused of harassing the girl and her family.
The girl’s family fled their home on Monday after Mr Rose’s sister allegedly confronted the girl and her mother.
Mr Rose’s sister first approached the girl at a friend’s house to ask if she had spoken to the police or the Herald Sun recently.
Mr Rose allegedly sat outside in a car while his sister quizzed the girl.
Mr Rose, his sister and another man then allegedly drove to the girl’s mother’s house. In line with Aboriginal custom, only Rose’s sister approached the girl’s mother to ask if she had spoken to police or the Herald Sun.
The girl’s mother claimed yesterday she was in fear of her life when Mr Rose got out of the car. She said he was persuaded by his sister to get back in the car.
In her intervention order application, the girl’s mother said she was worried about the safety of herself and her daughter “as the defendant seems to be looking for her”.
The girl’s parents told the Herald Sun they were frustrated that the word of a child was not enough to lead to police charges.
“How can anyone do something like that to a little girl and get away with it?” the mother asked.
When the girl eventually told her mother in January 2001 about the alleged incident, she was taken to the Department of Human Services.
Child protection workers immediately took her to police.
Police interviewed the girl twice before interviewing Mr Rose at the Chelsea police station.
The girl’s father said only the legal system prevented his family and friends from exacting Aboriginal justice from Mr Rose.
“If we had our way we would truss him up and do to him” what the girl claims Mr Rose did to her, he said.
One detective close to the investigation confirmed an allegation had been made by the girl.
“I can’t confirm what it was about, but there was an allegation made and an investigation was carried out which didn’t find sufficient evidence for the matter to go to court,” he said.
“The person that was interviewed denied any involvement in it at all.
“No one has been charged and no one is likely to be charged and the allegations were not substantiated.”
The girl said she cannot see why Mr Rose has gone unpunished.
“Why would I make something like that up,” she said.
“He made me feel disgusted. I hate him. I wish he was dead. I wish he was locked up.”