Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

What happens to the disgraced cardinal now — George Pell

What happens to the disgraced cardinal now — George Pell

The lawyer told Judge Kidd that behind bars, Pell would be considered a "lightning rod" for the sins of the Catholic Church. He had faced a maximum of 10 years in jail for each charge.

The verdict was first made public on February 26 after a court suppression order on the trial, preventing media reporting had been lifted.

Child sexual abuse survivor Andrew, who was assaulted at a different institution, said he had no sympathy for Pell.

He was found guilty on four charges of indecent acts and one of sexual penetration.

A police van believed to be transporting Cardinal George Pell leaves the County Court after Pell was sentenced to six years in jail for child sex crimes, in Melbourne on March 13, 2019.

"I have however found that you do not pose a risk to the community".

The Chief Justice did note that Cardinal Pell should not be made a scapegoat for the past crimes of the Catholic Church.

The second episode was "brief and spontaneous" but could not be viewed as an "isolated lapse" as Pell had ample time to reflect on his previous abuse of one of the boys, the judge said.

In the sentencing, Kidd described the graphic details of the abuse.

Pell showed no emotion during the hourlong hearing and barely moved throughout. You continued to offend with callous indifference to the victim's distress.

Once back at the assessment centre it is up to Corrections Victoria to decide which prison is the most appropriate place for Pell to serve out his sentence.

Warning: this article discusses sexual and child abuse. However, there is no rest for me. "Everything is overshadowed by the forthcoming appeal", he said in a statement read by his lawyer.

"Thank you for your interest in this case", he said.

Pell's fate within the church has yet to be decided.

"You were confident your victims would not complain".

Abuse victims' groups also expressed disappointment that the punishment was not harsher.

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She said Pell's reaction was cold and that seemed uninterested in what she had to say.

SNAP, a US support group for victim of clergy abuse, described the sentences as "comparatively light".

The appeal, filed by Pell's barrister Robert Richter QC, said: "There was a fundamental irregularity in the trial process, because the accused was not arraigned in the presence of the jury panel as required".

Pell used a cane to leave the court, after having both knees surgically replaced in December.

Pell's age and health were "significant" factors in his sentencing. Pell was in the conclave that elected him and remains eligible for any potential future conclave until age 80 or unless he is removed.

The sentencing hearing in the County Court lasted for just over an hour.

"It was imbued with arrogance, aggression and impunity", Kidd told the court.

When he was called to give evidence at the Royal Commission it was only in relation to his knowledge of others' conduct, and the question of whether he was present when church leaders chose to move offending priests between parishes. It was the first time a cardinal had been defrocked over the child abuse scandal.

As Catholics arrived for afternoon mass, the loved ones and survivors of clergy abuse were at the fence outside St Patrick's Cathedral, tying ribbons as a way to honour the victims. The task force also investigates allegations made to a similar national inquiry, called the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Security has been of ongoing concern throughout his time in the Melbourne Assessment Prison with Pell housed in the high security level of this prison.

The royal commission was critical of Pell's predecessor in Melbourne, Archbishop Frank Little, who died in 2008. But prosecutors dropped the second set of charges a fortnight ago.

He has been held in a maximum security prison since February 27, when his bail was revoked. Pedophiles such as Pell are typically separated from the main prison populations in Australia. His victims were two 13-year-old boys on scholarship to the prestigious St. Kevin's College.

Pell would be registered as a sex offender for life.

"I feel because of his position he should have been sentenced a lot harder", he said.

Pell also argued the jury relied too heavily on one victim's evidence and that it did not constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt that the claims are true.

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