Good news: Top Vatican official Cardinal George Pell has lost his appeal after having been convicted of sexually abusing minors by a criminal court in Australia.
Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of sexual abuse, has failed in a legal bid to quash his convictions in Australia.
Former Vatican treasurer George Pell will remain in prison after an Australian appeals court rejected the disgraced cardinal’s appeal against his conviction for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys in the mid-1990s.
The most senior Catholic official to be convicted of child sexual assault, Pell was sentenced in March to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months, for an attack described by Chief Judge Peter Kidd as “breathtakingly arrogant.”
Pell is the most senior Catholic official to be found guilty in a criminal court of child molestation. The 77 year-old Catholic official faced up to 50 years in prison after being found guilty on one count of sexually penetrating a child and four counts of an indecent act with a child.
However, the disgraced cardinal was sentenced to only six years in prison, and could be out on parole after only serving three years and eight months.
Pell, who until quite recently was the Vatican’s third most powerful official and a close adviser to Pope Francis, was convicted in Australia on charges that he sexually abused two choir boys in the late 1990s.
Prior to the appeal, lawyers for the convicted child rapist had asked for leniency because the rapes were “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case.”
Robert Richter, the lawyer for Cardinal Pell, told the court that the rape of two choir boys was no big deal, describing the crime as:
No more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating…
Bottom line: Cardinal George Pell will remain in prison after losing his appeal against his conviction for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys.