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AFL legend Carl Ditterich charged with child sexual abuse

Angie RaphaelNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Limited

AFL legend Carl Ditterich has been charged over allegations of historical child sex offences.

The 78-year-old former St Kilda and Melbourne star was charged by Victoria Police’s Bayside Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team.

He faces three counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.

Police confirmed to NCA NewsWire that the charges related to one alleged victim in 1985 at Heatherton.

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Ditterich, from Moama, was due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday but his lawyer Tony Hargreaves supplied a letter from Bendigo Health excusing him.

He is due back in court on June 28 for a committal mention.

St Kilda footballer Carl Ditterich on Scanlens footy card. Football card.
Camera IconFormer St Kilda footballer Carl Ditterich is facing multiple charges. Credit: News Limited

Making his VFL debut as a 17-year-old in 1963, Ditterich played 285 games for St Kilda and Melbourne.

In a statement, St Kilda said it was aware of the charges but would not comment on the matter.

“St Kilda Football Club is aware of historical charges laid against Carl Ditterich relating to an alleged incident after his playing career,” the club said.

“As the matter is currently before the courts, the club will not provide further comment.”

NCA NewsWire is also seeking comment from the Demons.

Nicknamed the “Blonde Bombshell”, Ditterich missed St Kilda’s historic 1966 premiership win due to a suspension.

Although he eventually got to play in a grand final in 1971, Hawthorn defeated the Saints by seven points.

A major highlight included winning the Saints’ best and fairest award in 1968, but he also made multiple appearances in front of the tribunal during his career.

12/04/1976. Carl Ditterich in action for the Saints. Carlton v St. Kilda. football.
Camera IconCarl Ditterich (centre) in action for the Saints. Bruce Doull Credit: News Limited

When he moved over to Melbourne, Ditterich won a best and fairest award in his debut season.

Three years later, the ruckman returned to St Kilda after being offered the captaincy.

In 1979, he was back at Melbourne as captain-coach for the final two-season phase of his VFL career.

Following his retirement in 1980, Ditterich purchased a wheat farm near Swan Hill in Victoria.

He also unsuccessfully stood as an independent candidate for the seat of Swan Hill in the 1999 state election.

Ditterich is a member of St Kilda’s team of the century and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Originally published as AFL legend Carl Ditterich charged with child sexual abuse

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