Cardinal George Pell Sentenced To Six Years Jail
George Pell has been sentenced to six years in jail, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
On Wednesday Victoria's Chief Judge Peter Kidd sentenced Pell to six years in jail.
Chief Justice Kidd sentenced Pell to two years for the first charge, four years for the second, two years and six months for the third, 15 months for the fourth and 18 months for the fifth.
Chief Justice Kidd said the four years for charge two was a "base sentence" with 12 months from charge one, four months from charge three, two months from charge four and six months from charge five to be served cumulatively.
Chief Justice Kidd said Pell does not 'currently pose a risk to the community' but will be registered as a sexual offender.
Pell was given a shorter non-parole period in recognition of his age and health.
He bowed to Chief Judge Kidd as he was led away from the dock.
Pell, once the third-highest ranking official at the Vatican, faced sentencing at Melbourne's county court on Wednesday, after a jury in December found him guilty of abusing two 13-year-old choir boys.
After three days of jury deliberation, Pell was convicted of five charges -- one of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and four of committing an indecent act.
Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic official to be found guilty of such charges.
Last week, the County Court confirmed Pell's sentencing would be broadcast live, as part of a commitment to "the principles of open justice".
During his trial, a victim testified that Pell discovered him and another choir boy inside St Patrick's Cathedral, in the 1990s.
The jury was told after Pell had finished presiding over Sunday mass, he found the two young boys in the priest's sacristy.
They were swigging sacramental wine when they were discovered.
The victim claimed Pell said, "what are you doing here?" or "you're in trouble", then immediately abused his friend, before turning to him.
Pell was also convicted of groping the victim who gave evidence, on a separate occasion, again inside St Patrick’s.
Australian media was unable to report on the conviction in December because of a suppression order, which was only lifted in February.
The order was put in place at the time to protect a second trial that was due to go ahead in April.
Prosecutors have since decided to not go ahead with the second case, and Pell was remanded in custody shortly after.
Pell has maintained his innocence over all allegations and his defence team has already lodged an appeal of his conviction.
Featured Image: Getty Images
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