It has been revealed that Cardinal George Pell, Australian prelate of the Catholic Church, has been found guilty of sexually abusing two choirboys while he was Archbishop of Melbourne.
A suppression order of the verdict was lifted by the courts revealing
Pell, on leave from his role in Rome as Vatican treasurer, was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 as well as four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16. The offences occurred in December 1996 and early 1997 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, months after Pell was inaugurated as archbishop of Melbourne.
He is due to be sentenced next week and will likely face jail time.
One of the complainants in the case, now aged 35, told the court at age 13 he and another boy, who has since died, had separated from the choir procession and upon sneaking back into the church entered the priest’s sacristy. There they found some sacramental wine and began to drink.
The complainant alleged that Pell had walked in on them and told them something to the effect that they were in trouble.
The Guardian Australia reports that it was then Pell manoeuvred his robes to expose his penis. He stepped forward, grabbed the other boy by the back of his head, and forced the boy’s head on to his penis.
Pell then did the same thing to the complainant, orally raping him. Once he had finished, he ordered the complainant to remove his pants, before fondling the complainant’s penis and masturbating himself.
The complainant said the attack lasted only a few minutes, and the boys left the room afterwards, hung up their choir robes and went home.
The jury took less than four days to reach a verdict.