Chief Judge Peter Kidd has sentenced Cardinal George Pell to six years in jail for the ‘violent’ and ‘brazen’ abuse of two choirboys in Melbourne in 1996. The sentence includes a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
Six years in prison. Three years and 8 months non-parole period. Pell expression remains impassive, as it has throughout. He is signing the sex offender register.
— Louise Milligan (@Milliganreports) March 13, 2019
In delivering his sentence Chief Judge Peter Kidd was meticulous and thorough addressing the issue of Pell’s public profile and the significant interest in his case and his own decision to broadcast the judgement.
Judge Peter Kidd sentencing Cardinal George Pell: The brazenness of your conduct is indicative of your sense of authority and power in relation to the victims.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) March 12, 2019
While stating George Pell could not be ‘a scapegoat’ for the catholic church’s failings Judge Kidd rejected the argument that Pell was merely a ‘man’, not ‘the Archbishop’ in offending.
Kidd "The argument of your counsel that this offending was committed by you, George Pell, the man, and not by you, George Pell, the Archbishop, must be roundly rejected. I do so without hesitation. Your obvious status as Archbishop cast a powerful shadow over this offending".
— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 12, 2019
“The full weight of your authority and position of power must have been very obvious to your victims and you,” Judge Kidd said. “You had a degree of confidence victims would not complain either immediately or by running out at some later stage.”
The Blue Knot Foundation, Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, said the six year sentence is ‘profoundly disappointing’.
“Although this is a significant sentence, it is not as much as what we would’ve hoped,” Kezelman says. “It’s profoundly disappointing for survivors whose own lives have been destroyed by the crime of child sexual abuse. It also makes a mockery of the concept of true accountability and is not a sentence commensurate with the crimes committed and the harm reaped. We must remember that victims are sentenced for life. He was not.”
— Candice Wyatt (@CandiceWyatt10) March 12, 2019
Cardinal Pell will be a registered “serious sexual offender” for life.
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