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Cardinal, who spoke out against LGBTQ+ rights, jailed for six years after abusing two teen boys

George Pell was one of Australia’s most senior figures within the Roman Catholic Church

2019-03-13

A former Cardinal who spoke frequently against LGBTQ+ rights has been jailed for six years after he was found guilty of abusing two teen boys.

George Pell – one of Australia’s most senior figures within the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican’s treasurer – was suspended in 2017 and removed from office in 2018 following allegations made against him.

Back in December, he was found guilty during a trial of sexually abusing two choirboys but the media were unable to name him due to legal restrictions.

However, ahead of his sentencing last week, a Melbourne judge lifted the reporting restrictions.

Last year, he faced two trials after the first jury were unable to reach a verdict but now he has been found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16 back in 1996.

During the trial, the court heard how he told his teenage victims that they were in trouble for drinking communion wine before he sexually assaulted them. He abused one of the boys again in 1997.

Pell continues to deny the charges and has already lodged an appeal against his convictions.

Now, the 77-year-old former Cardinal was handed a six year prison sentence with a judge said the cleric had committed "a brazen and forcible sexual attack on the two victims", the BBC reported.

"Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance," said Judge Peter Kidd.

Pell will be eligible for parole after three years and eight months. His appeal will be heard in June.