[Charlie Moore and Wayne Flower | Daily Mail Australia] Cardinal George Pell has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing two teenage choirboys in the 1990s.
Pell, the world’s highest Catholic official to be convicted of child sex abuse, was found guilty in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and molesting another at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne after a Sunday mass.
The 77-year-old stared directly at Chief Judge Kidd when he imposed the sentence which allows him to apply for parole after three years and eight months.
Judge Kidd called Pell’s crimes ‘breathtakingly arrogant’ and said the abuse has caused ‘long-term and serious harm.’
He said Pell’s age and lack of offending for 22 years meant he is not a danger to the community and is not likely to re-offend.
The judge also took into account Pell’s ailing health as he suffers from high blood pressure and congestive heart failure which requires him to have a pacemaker – and said there was a chance Pell will die in jail.
But because the disgraced cardinal still denies the abuse, Judge Kidd said he had shown ‘no remorse or contrition’ which could have reduced the sentence.
Pell, once the Vatican’s treasurer and considered a pope in waiting, will be placed on the sex offender’s register for the rest of his life.
The cardinal wore an open neck black shirt with no collar for the sentencing which was broadcast around the world although no images of Pell were shown.
At the start of proceedings at 10am, Judge Kidd said Pell’s offending had a ‘profound impact’ on his victims.
But he made clear that Pell would receive the ‘stable hand of justice’ and told him ‘you are not to be made a scapegoat for any failings or perceived failings of the Catholic Church.’
‘Nor are you being sentenced for any failure to prevent or report child sexual abuse by other clergy in the Catholic church,’ the judge added.
Judge Kidd said he accepted Pell’s lawyer’s argument that the abuse ‘involved opportunistic and spontaneous offending, rather than pre-planned or premeditated conduct.’
‘Had it been preplanned or involved grooming, it would have been more serious,’ he said.
Referring to the victims as J and R, he went into graphic details about the oral rape of one of the boys and the abuse of another in two incidents in 1996 and 1997.
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Charlie Moore and Wayne Flower and originally published at Daily Mail Australia. Title changed by P&P.]
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