CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual abuse.

Andrew Bolt — the conservative newspaper columnist and TV host who has chosen defending convicted pedophile George Pell as a hill to die on — has now been accused of defending convicted child sex offender Peter Kehoe.

On The Bolt Report on Tuesday night, he referred to Kehoe by saying that “a man, who was an ex-teacher, hit on a boy… no sex occurred.”

Kehoe, a highschool athletics coach at Melbourne’s elite St Kevin’s College, was convicted in 2015 of grooming a child under the age of 16 and placed on the sex offender register. The child was a student under his duty of care.

The Four Corners reporter who helped expose the school’s culture of coverups and toxic behavior, Louise Milligan, called Bolt out on social media.

Bolt retaliated on his Herald Sun blog, claiming that Milligan had mischaracterised his segment and taken quotes out of context.

“I said Kehoe ‘groomed’ the student, and also ‘hit on’ him,” he wrote.

“Is that not true? I also said he’d been convicted, and at no stage did I – or would I – defend what he had done or criticise the sentence he received.

“What I said was that Milligan had been unfair to the principal of St Kevin’s and mischaracterised what he’d done by providing what she described as a ‘character reference’ to the court that (rightly) convicted Kehoe.”

During the segment, conservative commentator Gerard Henderson also added that there had been “a terrible pile-on against St Kevin’s within the ABC tradition of attacking Catholic institutions.” St Kevin’s College had been in the media spotlight after the ABC reported that its headmaster had provided a character reference for Kehoe in court.

On Wednesday, St Kevin’s principal Stephen Russell announced his resignation in a letter to parents, citing the “current situation” as a reason.

Sleeping Giants Oz has long campaigned for advertisers to move away from outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch, including Sky News Australia, where The Bolt Report airs. The movement tweeted: “Where is the compassion for the child?”

Other journalists also slammed Bolt and defended Milligan’s reporting.


Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 

Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

Image: The Bolt Report