An Australian jury has found Cardinal George Pell, 77, guilty on five charges of “historical child sexual offenses” that go back decades, according to various media reports and confirmed by America. The 12-member jury gave their unanimous verdict in the County Court of the State of Victoria in Melbourne on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Interestingly, a judicial gag order has restricted Australian own media coverage of the trial since June 2018.
Despite the gag order, a story published Dec 11 on the Daily Beast website first reported that a unanimous verdict of guilty had been returned by a jury on charges that Pell sexually abused two altar servers in the late 1990s, while he was Archbishop of Melbourne.
The verdict reportedly followed three days of deliberations by the jury – the second to hear the case. An earlier hearing of the case is reported to have ended in early autumn with a mistrial, after jurors were unable to reach a verdict. The conviction has not yet been confirmed by the Australian judiciary, and the gag order on Australian media could remain in place for several months. Sentencing is likely to take place in about a month’s time.
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