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Cardinal Pell sentenced to six years imprisonment for sexual abuse


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Melbourne, Australia, Mar 12, 2019 / 06:18 pm (CNA).

Cardinal George Pell was sentenced Wednesday to six years imprisonment, after being convicted in December of sexual abuse of two choirboys in 1996. He will be eligible for parole after serving three years and eight months of his sentence.

Chief Judge Peter Kidd handed down the sentence March 13 from the Victoria County Court. Kidd's remarks of more than 70 minutes were broadcast live. Several times Kidd characterized Pell's behavior as "brazen", and he called him "extraordinarily arrogant."

Kidd said that "you had a degree of confidence that the victims would not complain," and that "you clearly felt that you did not need" to threaten them to keep them from making a complaint.

(Snip)

The cardinal was convicted on five counts of sex abuse based on charges he sexually assaulted two choirboys while serving as Archbishop of Melbourne.

It was the cardinal's second trial, as a jury in an earlier trial had failed to reach a unanimous verdict. The first jury were deadlocked 10-2 in Pell's favor, multiple sources close to the case told CNA.

His appeal will be made on three points: the jury's reliance on the evidence of a single victim, an irregularity that kept Pell from entering his not guilty plea in front of the jury, and the defense not being allowed to show a visual representation supporting his claim of innocence.

(Snip)

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