Thursday 22 August 2019

Australian cardinal to appeal against child sex convictions

George Pell has applied to attend the Victoria state Court of Appeal in person.

Cardinal George Pell (Andy Brownbill/AP)
Cardinal George Pell (Andy Brownbill/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

The most senior Catholic found guilty of child sex abuse is to ask an Australian appeals court to reverse his conviction on charges of molesting two choirboys in a cathedral more than 20 years ago.

Australian Cardinal George Pell has applied to attend the Victoria state Court of Appeal in Melbourne in person for the challenge that is set to be heard by three judges on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pope Francis’s former finance minister was convicted in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the 1990s.

Professor Jeremy Gans, who heads the Melbourne Law School and is an expert on Victoria criminal law, said Pell has a strong chance of winning the appeal on the ground that the verdicts were “unreasonable”.

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