George Pell sentenced for child sex: victim says hard to take comfort

George Pell sentenced for child sex: victim says hard to take comfort

"I consider the moral culpability of your offences high", CJ Kidd said.

What did the court hear previously?

Last December, the now 77-year-old was found guilty on five charges relating to the sexual assault of two boys at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996.

Angela Sdrinis, a Melbourne lawyer who has represented victims of abuse for more than two decades, said "the conviction of George Pell shows victims of child sex abuse that no one is above the law".

"It is hard for me to allow myself to feel the gravity of this moment" the victim, who has not been identified, said though his lawer Vivian Waller.

Pell is considered to be a "serious sexual offender" in relation to three of the charges.

Pell was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16, which his lawyer likened to "oral rape", and four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.

Pell, who has been held in custody for the past two weeks, now faces years in a Victorian prison, a far cry from the apartment where he lived in Piazza Citta Leonina, a small square just across the street from the Vatican's St. Ann's Gate.

"We have witnessed, outside of this court and within our community, examples of a witch-hunt or a lynch mob mentality in relation to you, Cardinal Pell".

Kidd said as archbishop Pell would have "cast a powerful shadow" and thought he could control the situation if caught.

"You were confident your victims would not complain".

The judge also warned other victims that "this sentence can not be vindication of wrongdoings against you [other victims]".

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Speaking to A Current Affair, she said she spoke to Pell in 1992 and told him about what had happened to her and her sister.

The surviving victim said everything was overshadowed by Pell's upcoming appeal.

The judge also accepted that life in prison for Pell would be more onerous than for other prisoners and noted he would be registered for life as a sex offender.

With global attention on historic abuse within the Catholic church, Kidd however stressed that it was Pell rather than the Vatican that was on trial.

The father is considering suing Pell and the church over the abuse.

"Because [Pell is] so close to the heart of the Vatican power, it is the time now for them to have a more structured approach", Singleton said.

The cardinal's crimes have drawn widespread condemnation, though he has retained the support of some high-profile figures in Australia.

The Chief Justice did note that Cardinal Pell should not be made a scapegoat for the past crimes of the Catholic Church.

Wearing a black shirt without his usual white clerical collar, Pell sat largely impassively, hands interlaced on his lap, as Kidd graphically described his "brazen and forceful sexual attack on the two victims".

"The acts were sexually graphic. Both victims were visibly and audibly distressed during this offending", Judge Kidd said.

He will eligable for parole in three years and eight months.

Only the judge was made visible to viewers in the TV broadcast, which was cut immediately after the sentence was delivered.

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