George Pell: What happens to the disgraced cardinal now

George Pell: What happens to the disgraced cardinal now

George Pell: What happens to the disgraced cardinal now

The sentence was handed down Wednesday morning by Victorian County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd, who called Pell's crimes "brazen" and said that his victims must have felt a sense of "degradation and humiliation".

Though not shortening his sentence, Judge Kidd said he did impose a shorter non-parole period "in recognition in particular of your age, so as to increase the prospect of your living out the last part of your life in the community".

George Pell will be a registered sex offender for life.

"You have effectively reformed", Kidd said, noting the 22 years since the abuse. Kidd said he believed given Pell's age and lack of any other criminal record, the cardinal posed no risk of re-offending.

"Cardinal George Pell has always maintained his innocence and continues to do so".

His lawyers argue that the jury's verdict was "unreasonable" because it relied too heavily on the testimony of one person - the victim who is alive.

Howard said he was aware of Pell's conviction and pending appeal but that "none of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal". Kidd referred to the complainant only as "J" throughout his sentencing remarks, and to the other victim, who died in 2014, as "R"'.

The offences against two 13-year-old boys took place after Sunday mass in late 1996 and early 1997 in a room and a corridor at St Patrick's Cathedral, in Melbourne, where Pell was archbishop.

Sentencing him, Justice Peter Kidd said some of the offences had a "nasty element" and particularly drew on the fact that the victims were abused in front of each other. "I take into account the profound impact your offending has had [on the complainant's] life". It made Pell, 77, the most senior figure in the Church to be charged with a sex crime.

Kidd said that Pell was well aware of what he was doing when he traumatized two choir boys, describing his behavior as "reasoned albeit perverted one".

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"Self-evidently you have experienced an exceptional career with the Catholic Church".

He began the hearing, which was broadcast live, by stating that Pell was "entitled to the balanced and steady hand of justice" and lamenting "lynch mob mentality" among some of the public.

Australian police interviewed Pell about the survivor's allegations in a Rome hotel in 2016.

While sentencing, Kidd said that the boys, one of which committed suicide long before the trial, experienced huge emotional distress from Pell's actions had "significant and long-lasting impact" on J's life.

Pell maintained his innocence throughout and has filed an appeal, which is set to be heard in June.

They have also asserted that Pell was wrongly prevented from entering his plea before a jury, and that a defence animation should have been allowed as evidence at the trial.

Pell's conviction - which has been criticized by prominent commentators and friends of the Cardinal - came about as a result of a retrial after the first jury was unable to reach a verdict in September.

Pell's convictions in December were under a publication ban until February, when a second trial, based on allegations Pell sexually assaulted two boys at a Ballarat swimming pool in the seventies, collapsed for lack of admissible evidence.

One count of sexual penetration of a child.

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