US News: Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsCardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions

06:00  21 august  2019
06:00  21 august  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Australian Cardinal George Pell is set to appeal , after being found guilty of sexual offences in Melbourne. Pope: Abusers are 'tools of Satan' Jump to media player Pope Francis says that "no explanation suffices" for cases of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.

Former Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell , was sentenced to six years in jail in March for a string of sexual assaults on teenagers. His lawyers have said they will appeal to the high court, his last chance to overturn his conviction . Cardinal Pell was found guilty of sexually abusing 13-year-old

(Video by: Time)

Australia's most prominent Catholic figure, Cardinal George Pell, has lost his appeal against his convictions over sexual offences against two choirboys in Melbourne in the 1990s.

Two of the three judges from Victoria's Court of Appeal turned down Pell's primary ground of appeal, that the jury's verdict was unreasonable.

The judges unanimously dismissed two other grounds of appeal which argued that there were errors in the way the trial was run.

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Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in jail for child sex abuse . Cardinal George Pell to spend his first night in prison in Melbourne after Pell , who was Pope Francis' former finance minister, was unanimously convicted of orally raping a 13-year-old boy and indecently dealing with another

George Pell 's bid for freedom: Jailed Cardinal begins appeal to overturn his convictions for sexually abusing young choirboys.

Pell was in March sentenced to a six-year jail term after last year being found guilty by a jury of five offences including sexual penetration of a child.

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions © Julian Smith George Pell arrived at the Supreme Court of Victoria in a prison van just before 8:30am. The 78-year-old must serve a minimum jail term of three years and eight months.

Pell may seek leave to appeal today's decision in the High Court.

Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Justice Chris Maxwell dismissed the appeal on the ground of an unreasonable jury verdict, while Justice Mark Weinberg upheld that appeal ground.

Chief Justice Ferguson and Justice Maxwell agreed it "was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Cardinal Pell was guilty as charged".

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“ Cardinal George Pell has always maintained his innocence and continues to do so,” Pell ’s lawyer, Paul Galbally, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Although originally the Cardinal faced allegations from a number of complainants, all charges except for those the subject of the appeal have now been

Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at the Royal Commission into child sex abuse .

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions © AP File: Cardinal George Pell arrives at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. Two-one ruling backs jury's verdict Pell's legal team had argued during the appeal hearing there were 13 reasons why the offending was "impossible", but Justice Ferguson said she and Justice Maxwell rejected all 13.

One of those reasons was that Pell's robes were too heavy to be moved aside to commit the sexual acts he was convicted of.

The robes "were not so heavy or so immoveable as … had been suggested," Justice Ferguson told the packed courtroom.

She said Justice Weinberg, who dissented on this ground of appeal, found the complainant's evidence had discrepancies.

"He concluded that his evidence contained discrepancies, displayed inadequacies and otherwise lacked a probity of value so as to cause him to have a doubt as to the applicant's guilt," she said of Justice Weinberg's conclusions.

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Cardinal George Pell 's lawyers argued in his appeal that there were more than a dozen "solid obstacles" that should have prevented a jury from finding He was also convicted of squeezing one of the boy’s genitals and shoving him against a corridor wall after a Mass weeks later. One of the victims

Emotional bystanders scream abuse at Cardinal George Pell as he leaves court after being found guilty of raping a choirboy in the 1990s and molesting another.

Justice Weinberg found that the other evidence made the complainant's account "impossible to accept".

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions © ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE: In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Cardinal George Pell meets the media at the Vatican. "Nevertheless, the appeal on the unreasonableness ground has been dismissed because two of us took a different view of the facts," Justice Ferguson said.

Argument of errors during trial rejected All three judges agreed with County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd's ruling not to admit the defence's animation which purported to show the movements of all people present at St Patrick's Cathedral in December 1996.

Justice Ferguson said it was a "distorted picture" of events at the cathedral.

There was also a unanimous ruling to dismiss the appeal on the third ground, that Pell should have been arraigned in front of the jury.

Reading a summary of the court's decision, Justice Ferguson said she wanted to note the context of the case and stressed that the conviction only concerned the five offences Pell was convicted of.

"Cardinal Pell's conviction and this appeal have attracted widespread attention, both in Australia and beyond," she said.

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Cardinal George Pell gives a videolink testimony to Royal Commission.

with children until after the Vatican's No.3 completes his appeal against child abuse conviction Cardinal George Pell found guilty of sex assault and rape against two choir boys He is on leave from his position in the Vatican and will appeal the convictions The Pope has ordered Cardinal George Pell to stay away from children after the Catholic

"He is a senior figure in the Catholic Church and is internationally well known.

Gallery: The rise and fall of George Pell (Photo Services)

"As the trial judge, Chief Judge Kidd commented when sentencing Cardinal Pell, 'there has been vigorous and sometimes emotional criticism of the Cardinal, and he has been publicly vilified in some sections of the community'.

"There has also been strong support for the Cardinal by others. Indeed, it's fair to say that this case has divided the community.

"It is important to stress at the outset that Cardinal Pell's conviction only concerns the five offences alleged to have been committed by him."

Pell's surviving victim wants to 'get on with his life' Vivian Waller, the lawyer representing Pell's surviving victim, said her client was "very relieved" by the outcome.

"It's been a very long journey for him," she told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"He's a very private person and very family-oriented, and he's very much focused on doing his best to look after his family and get on with his life."

Dr Waller said she expected Pell's legal team to seek leave to appeal to the High Court.

"I think we'll all be carefully reading and considering the full judgment which will take a little bit of time," she said.

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions © ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE: In this May 2, 2018, file photo, Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to face sex charges, leaves court in Melbourne, Australia. "I'm told it's 300 pages long so no doubt there will be lots of legal minds poring over that decision."

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RELATED: Pell ’s appeal pitted word of former choirboy against priest. Pell has been in a Melbourne prison since March when he was sentenced to six Clerical sexual abuse and the Catholic church’s handling of such cases worldwide have thrown Pope Francis’ papacy into turmoil. In a little more than

CARDINAL George Pell has confessed false documents were created and priests took part in “reprehensible” cover-ups of child sexual abuse . “VICTIMS and support groups have called for Cardinal George Pell ’s resignation following his appearance at yesterday’s parliamentary inquiry into

Victim advocate welcomes 'joyous moment' Outside court, anti-abuse advocate Chrissie Foster said it was a "joyous moment" when the decision was handed down.

"I'm so glad that it was not overturned after everything," she said.

Ms Foster's daughters Emma and Katie were raped by Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell while they were at primary school in the 1980s

"It sends a message that they will be believed," she said about other victims of institutional abuse.

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against child sex abuse convictions © ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE: In this March 5, 2018, file photo, Cardinal George Pell arrives for a hearing at an Australian court in Melbourne, Australia. "It's a wonderful, wonderful day for survivors, for victims. I think it sends a message that justice will be served, no matter how high you are, or how old you are, or what your job is.

"This is a crime, it's against children. That innocence just taken and destroyed. [Abuse] ruins people's lives.

"This is a good day, a good counter for that."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his sympathies were with victims of child sexual "not just on this day but on every single day".

"And as I said at the time of the earlier finding, that events like this today bring it all back and I would urge Australians who find themselves reliving these experiences to reach out to those around them, to reach out to the services that are there for them, in whatever phase of life they're in," he said.

"These things can take you back a long way, so that's where my sympathies are.

"The courts have done their job, they've rendered their verdict. And that's the system of justice in this country and that must be respected."

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