Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years jail for child sex crimes

Disgraced Australian Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years in jail for child sex crimes in a Melbourne court on Ma

The most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral in a crime the judge said showed "staggering arrogance".

What did the court hear previously?

"I am conscious that a term of imprisonment. carries with it a real, as distinct from theoretical, possibility that you may not live to be released from prison".

First of all, there will be a canonical investigation held by the Vatican into Pell's past, which could lead to his defrocking but will also remind the world how the Church is often forced to play catch-up after civil judges weed out its sex offenders.

"Each year you spend in custody will represent a substantial portion of your remaining life expectancy". "I'm imposing a sentence on Cardinal Pell for what he did".

Cardinal Pell has maintained his innocence and has filed an appeal to be heard in June.

"It is hard for me to allow myself to feel the gravity of this moment, the moment when the sentence is handed down, the moment when justice is done", the man said in a statement read outside court by one of his lawyers, Vivian Waller.

Warning: this article discusses sexual and child abuse. "Everything is overshadowed by the forthcoming appeal".

Before announcing his sentencing, Judge Kidd, who said he had chosen to broadcast the sentencing live, laid out an intricate and thorough examination of his reasonings.

Live: Catholic Church Cardinal George Pell sentenced for sexual abuse of children
Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in jail

Pell also abused his position by breaching the trust of his victims. Kidd described the assaults as egregious, degrading and humiliating to the victims.

In sentencing Pell, Kidd considered the question of Pell's experience in prison due to his notoriety but dismissed the argument that the public broadcast of the decision presented further punishment, including behind bars, noting the case had already been highly publicized.

Kidd is aware he sentenced at "a time where in recent years there has been the exposure of child sexual abuse within institutional settings, including within the Catholic Church".

Kidd also said there had been "examples of a witch-hunt or lynch mob mentality" in the community following Pell's conviction.

"I think the Catholic Church is shuffling it under the carpet and it makes me sick that I pay school fees to a Catholic system and then some of that money goes to the Catholic Church".

"To offend in such a risky and brazen manner, I infer that, for whatever reason, you were in fact prepared to take on such risks".

The sentencing for convicted child sex offender Cardinal George Pell.13.th March 2019.

Worshipper Darryl D'Souza said Pell's conviction and sentencing was a sad situation for Catholics, but it did not change his belief in God or the church.

His legal team is appealing on the grounds that the jury's verdict was unreasonable, that Pell was not arraigned in the presence of the jury panel, and that the defence was prevented from showing the jury a visual presentation - described as similar to a "Pac Man" video game - depicting the movement of priests in the cathedral on the day of the choirboys' abuse. A jury in an earlier trial was discharged last September when it was unable to reach a verdict.

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