Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and formerly the third highest ranking official in the Vatican, was charged with historical child sex offences in June 2017.
In December of last year he was convicted of one count of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 and four counts of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
Due to a trial for further sex offences, a suppression order was made preventing the media in Australia from reporting on the matter.
That suppression order has now been lifted due to the dropping of charges against him related to the alleged indecent assault of boys at the Eureka swimming pool in Ballarat in the 1970s:
“Cardinal George Pell has become the world’s most senior Catholic official to be convicted of child sexual abuse, after a jury found him guilty of abusing two choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral just months into his appointment as Archbishop in 1996…
Some details of the allegations against him were made public in a committal hearing in March, 2018, but the criminal cases against him have proceeded in secret, due to court-ordered suppression orders.
Pell was tried twice over allegations of abusing choirboys at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in the 1990s. The first trial in August resulted in a hung jury. At a second trial in December he was convicted of one count of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 and four counts of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
The December jury took three-and-a half days to find Pell guilty of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and molesting his friend after Sunday Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.”
Father Frank Brennan is not sure the jury got it right. Unsurprisingly, an appeal against conviction has been filed.