Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months, for the sexual abuse of two 13-year-old choirboys in the mid-’90s. Pell is the highest ranked member of the Catholic church to be sent to jail for child sexual abuse.
The sentencing was lenient considering each of the five charges Pell faced, for indecent acts on a child under 16, carried a maximum of 10 years in jail.
The Guardian reports: ‘Pell was convicted last month on five charges of child sexual assault, following a committal hearing, a mistrial and a trial. He has lodged an appeal, which will be heard in June. Chief judge Peter Kidd said the sentence carried a real possibility that Pell would not live to be released. “Facing jail at your age in these circumstances must be an awful state of affairs for you,” he said. … In his sentencing remarks Kidd said Pell’s offending had “a significant and long lasting impact” on the complainant’s wellbeing. “I take into account the profound impact your offending has had [on the complainant’s] life.” Kidd referred to the complainant only as “J” throughout his sentencing remarks, and to the other victim, who died in 2014, as “R”.’