Cardinal Pell guilty of choirboys sex assaults
Cardinal George Pell faces a lengthy jail term after being found guilty of violent sex assaults against two young choirboys.
After an explosive five-week trial late last year, which has been suppressed until today [Tuesday] for legal reasons, the 77-year-old treasurer for the Vatican could now face a sentence of between 10 and 14 years.
Ballarat-born Pell is the most senior Catholic figure in history to be convicted of a crime.
News of his child sex attacks, committed at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 and 1997 when he was Archbishop of Melbourne, will now heighten the global child sex scandal buffetting the Holy See.
The news comes just days after Pope Francis held a special summit on the child abuse crisis in Rome with more than 190 senior bishops in attendance.
Pell’s barrister Robert Richter has confirmed he has already lodged an appeal against the conviction.
If Pell fails in his appeal against the charges, he will likely be defrocked by Pope Francis.
Despite spending up to $2 million on a top legal team, bankrolled by a trust fund, the Cardinal lost his fight against the charges.
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