Cardinal George Pell’s Sexual Assault Sentencing Will Broadcast Live Before Judge in Melbourne, Australia Wednesday; Faces 50 Years in Prison

AUSTRALIA – Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Catholic clergyman ever convicted of child sex crimes, will face a rare live court broadcast Wednesday as he appears before a judge in Melbourne, Australia to receive his sentence.

Pell was the Vatican’s treasurer and a close adviser to Pope Francis until February, when he took a leave of absence to face sex abuse charges in his home country of Australia.  He was found unanimously guilty in December of assaulting two 13-year-old choir boys during the mid-1990s in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s, when Pell was the archbishop of Melbourne.

The verdict was announced February 26, after a controversial gag order barring the media from reporting on the case had expired. It immediately drew worldwide attention due to Pell’s senior Vatican position.

The 77-year-old priest, once the third highest Vatican official, faces substantial jail time. His counts include sexual penetration of a child and four indecent acts with a child, each carrying a 10-year maximum jail sentence, or 50 years total. While it is unknown what sentence will come down, Peter Kidd, the Chief Judge for Victoria’s state County Court who will preside over tomorrow’s sentencing, has called the crimes “callous, brazen” acts.


FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION: GET ONLY 'FEATURED' STORIES BY EMAIL

Big Tech is using a content filtering system for online censorship. Watch our short video about NewsGuard to learn how they control the narrative for the Lamestream Media and help keep you in the dark. NewsGuard works with Big-Tech to make it harder for you to find certain content they feel is 'missing context' or stories their editors deem "not in your best interest" - regardless of whether they are true and/or factually accurate. They also work with payment processors and ad-networks to cut off revenue streams to publications they rate poorly by their same bias standards. This should be criminal in America. You can bypass this third-world nonsense by signing up for featured stories by email and get the good stuff delivered right to your inbox.
 

Live court proceedings, a common occurrence in the U.S., are the exception in Australia. “The County Court is committed to the principles of open justice,” a court spokesman said in a brief statement. Wednesday’s hearing is expected to draw a massive court crowd and broadcast viewership. It will be broadcast at 7pm Melbourne time, which is 4am on the East Coast.

Pell remains a cardinal, and has been held at the Melbourne Assessment Prison since the verdict was announced February 27 and his bail was revoked. He has denied all allegations and appealed the matter. A hearing is scheduled for June 5.

The conviction announcement came on the heels of the inaugural “Vatican Summit On Sex Abuse,” a worldwide gathering of 175 bishops Pell convened to discuss the issue of clerical pedophilia. On February 27, the Vatican announced a formal investigation into the Cardinal, and has said they will support Pell pending the outcome of his appeal.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to corrections@publishedreporter.com and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)