Cardinal George Pell Has Been Found Guilty Of Child Sexual Abuse

Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of child sexual abuse after a trial in Melbourne, and is set to be jailed.

Pell, the former Vatican treasurer and one of the most senior Catholic figures in the world, was found guilty by unanimous verdict back in December, but Australian media has been unable to report on it due to a suppression order issued by the court in Victoria.

Pell was found guilty of orally raping one choirboy and molesting another in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral 22 years ago.

The court was told that Pell, in 1996 while Archbishop of Melbourne, found two choirboys drinking wine in the sacristy. He told them they were in trouble before exposing himself, and forcing one of the boys to perform oral sex on him. He then masturbated as he fondled the second boy’s genitals.

In a second incident in 1997, Pell pushed one of the boys involved in the first incident against a wall in a cathedral hallway and fondled his genitals.

County Court chief judge Peter Kidd today lifted the suppression order which has prevented local media from reporting on the result of the December trial. Pell was due to face a second trial on further sex abuse charges, but they have been dropped.

Specifically, Pell was found guilty on four charges of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child under 16, and one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16.

His legal team has confirmed they will appeal the conviction.

The cardinal will be remanded in custody prior to a pre-sentencing hearing on Wednesday. He will likely be sentenced in the fortnight after that hearing.