Cardinal George Pell, Former Vatican Treasurer and Former Adviser to Pope Francis Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Two Choirboys

In this Dec 10, 2018, photo, Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to face sex charges, departs an Australian court. Pell was sentenced in an Australian court on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 to 6 years in prison for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral more than 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

A former Vatican City treasurer and former senior adviser to Pope Francis was sentenced to 6 years in prison after being found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys.

Cardinal George Pell was sentenced Wednesday by a court in Australia after being found guilty, making him the highest ranking Vatican official ever convicted of sex abuse.

“Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” stated Judge Peter Kidd to Pell at the sentencing, as reported by the New York Times, adding “I would characterize these breaches and abuses as grave.”

A prominent leader in the Australian Catholic Church, in 2017 Pell was charged with multiple counts of sexually assaulting minors. Pell denied the accusations.

“I’m looking forward finally to having my day in court. I’m innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” stated Pell at the time.

“These matters have been under investigation now for two years. There have been leaks to the media, there’s been relentless character assassination and for more than a month, claims that a decision on whether to lay charges was imminent.”

Last December, a 12-member jury in the County Court of the State of Victoria in Melbourne found Pell guilty on five counts of sex abuse.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski