A former Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, has been sentenced to six years in prison for a string of sexual assaults on teenagers.

Cardinal Pell was found guilty of sexually abusing 13-year-old choir boys 22 years ago in the priests’ sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, where he was archbishop at the time.

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He was convicted of abusing two boys whom he had caught drinking sacramental wine in a rear room of the cathedral in late 1996, as hundreds of worshippers were streaming out of Sunday services.

He was also found guilty of assaulting one of the boys in a corridor more than a month later.

Longrich

He was actually convicted of five offences in December last year, but details of the verdicts were kept secret for fear they would prejudice a second trial he was facing. Those charges have now been dropped.

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His convictions were revealed in February.

Sentencing him, Justice Peter Kidd said some of the offences had a “nasty element” and particularly drew on the fact that the victims were abused in front of each other.


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