One of the most powerful men in the Roman Catholic Church was found guilty of multiple historical child sex offenses at a secret trial in Melbourne in December, the existence of which can only now be revealed.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, 77, is almost certain to face prison after a jury found him guilty of one charge of sexual penetration of a child and four charges of an indecent act with or in the presence of a child in the late 1990s.
The conviction of Pell, the Vatican treasurer and a close adviser to Pope Francis, will send shockwaves through the church, which is already reeling from accusations of sexual abuse committed by priests worldwide.
BREAKING: after two secret trials, it can finally be revealed Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys while Archbishop of Melbourne. A gag order was lifted today meaning the real story can be reported for the first time. More @theheraldsun pic.twitter.com/6kh8Tm1DfC
— Shannon Deery (@s_deery) February 25, 2019
Cardinal George Pell guilty of sexual abuse in Australia, becoming the top Catholic cleric convicted of such crimes https://t.co/qWJefERfBL
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 26, 2019
I am one of about eight journalists who were in the mistrial and trial of Cardinal George #Pell for the entirety of the case. Committal, mistrial, retrial. He has been found guilty of one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and 4 counts of indecent assault under 16.
— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) February 25, 2019
#BREAKING Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty and is set to be jailed for child sexual abuse in the most sensational verdict since the Catholic church became engulfed in worldwide abuse scandals. https://t.co/ZJz3h85hCr
— The Age (@theage) February 26, 2019