Cardinal Pell told he may not live to be released as hes

first_img Cardinal George Pell arriving at court last month. Share230 Tweet Email DISGRACED AUSTRALIAN CARDINAL George Pell “may not live to be released from prison”, the judge warned a Melbourne court today as the sentencing of the 77-year-old for child sex crimes began.Pell, the most senior Catholic clergyman ever found guilty of child sex abuse, faced a maximum 50 years in prison for assaulting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral in 1996-97. Today, he was sentenced to six years in jail but will be eligible for parole after three. The Australian cleric has been in custody since late February ahead of the sentencing hearing. Sitting at the back of the court as Justice Kidd read out his remarks, Pell was impassive and did not wear his white clerical collar with his black shirt and light olive-coloured jacket.The cardinal is “entitled to the balanced and steady hand of justice”, Chief Judge Peter Kidd told the County Court of Victoria as he opened his sentencing remarks.He warned that the cleric was on trial and not the Catholic Church and lamented a “lynch mob mentality” among some of the public, adding: “You are not to be made a scapegoat.”“I am not sitting in judgment of the Catholic Church,” Justice Kidd added, vowing to deal with only the facts of the case.Going through the crimes in graphic detail, Justice Kidd said that Pell’s actions had a “profound impact” on the life of the boy who survived his abuse and likely had a similar impact on a boy who later died of a heroin overdose.Assaulting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral with both present likely caused additional “degradation and humiliation”,” he said.He accused Pell of “callous indifference” to the suffering of the boys, who have not been named.The jury was told that Pell abused the two boys after catching them swigging from a bottle of sacramental wine in the sacristy after Sunday mass. He exposed himself and forced one of them to perform oral sex on him, and fondled the boy’s genitals while masturbating.Justice Kidd said the offences in the sacristy “involved a brazen and forceful sexual attack on the two victims”.“The acts were sexually graphic. Both victims were visibly and audibly distressed during this offending,” he said.Acknowledging Pell’s age and his health issues including cardiac problems and hypertension, Justice Kidd said that his sentence “carries with it a… possibility that you may not live to be released from prison”.“Of some real importance in my sentencing exercise is the fact that each year you spend in custody will represent a substantial portion of your remaining life expectancy,” he added.Pell was found guilty by a jury in December, but a suppression order Justice Kidd prevented media from reporting the case until late February, when prosecutors withdrew plans to hold a second trial.Victim reactionOne of the victims, who remains anonymous but issued a statement through his lawyer, said it was difficult to allow himself to feel the “gravity of the moment”. “I appreciate that the court has acknowledged what was inflicted upon me as a child,” h said. “However, there is no rest for me. Everything is overshadowed by the forthcoming appeal.”The father of the other victim, who died of a drug overdose in 2014, said through his lawyer that Pell’s sentence was “disappointing”.“Our client is disappointed with the short sentencing and has expressed sadness over what he believes is inadequate for the crime,” Lisa Flynn of Shine Lawyers said in a statement.“I admire the courage of my client to keep fighting on behalf of his deceased son. To him, this battle is not over.”© AFP 2019 Cardinal Pell told he ‘may not live to be released’ as he’s sentenced to six years in jail Pell was found guilty of assaulting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral in 1996-97. Mar 13th 2019, 7:03 AM 40 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By AFPcenter_img 14,325 Views Image: David Crosling/AAP/PA Images Wednesday 13 Mar 2019, 7:03 AM Short URL Cardinal George Pell arriving at court last month. Image: David Crosling/AAP/PA Imageslast_img read more

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