Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in jail for child sex abuse

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Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd ordered Cardinal George Pell to serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

Each of the five convictions against Pell carried a maximum possible sentence of 10 years each.

 

“In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” the judge said in handing down the sentence.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister had been convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s, months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne.

A court order had suppressed media reporting the news until last month.

AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File

 

The 77-year-old denies the allegations and will appeal his convictions in the Victoria Court of Appeal on June 5.

In explaining his sentencing decision, the judge said Pell had led an “otherwise blameless life”.

He said he believed given Pell’s age and lack of any other criminal record, the cardinal posed no risk of re-offending.

The judge also took pains to note that he was sentencing Pell for the offences on which the cardinal had been convicted – and not for the sins of the Catholic Church.

“As I directed the jury who convicted you in this trial, you are not to be made a scapegoat for any failings or perceived…

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