Australian cardinal sentenced to prison for child sex abuse

Author: Associated Press
Published:
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2019, file photo, Cardinal George Pell arrives at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia. Pell, the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse, will be sentenced to prison Wednesday in an Australia landmark case that has polarized observers. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)
FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2019, file photo, Cardinal George Pell arrives at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia. Pell, the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse, will be sentenced to prison Wednesday in an Australia landmark case that has polarized observers. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

An Australian judge has sentenced the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse to 6 years in prison for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral more than 20 years ago.

Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd on Wednesday ordered Cardinal George Pell to serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted 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. The assaults happened just months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne. A court order had suppressed media reporting the news until last month.

The 77-year-old denies the allegations and will appeal his convictions in June.

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