George Pell Freed After Australian Court Overturns Sex Abuse Conviction / The New York Times

He (Cardinal George Pell) walked free on Tuesday after a panel of seven judges ruled that the jury ought to have entertained a doubt about his guilt. (The New York Times)

“Australia’s highest court on Tuesday (Apr. 7) overturned the sexual abuse conviction of Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader ever found guilty in the church’s clergy pedophilia crisis.

“Cardinal Pell, 78, who was the Vatican’s chief financial officer and an adviser to Pope Francis, was sentenced to six years in prison last March for molesting two 13-year-old boys after Sunday Mass in 1996.

“He walked free on Tuesday after a panel of seven judges ruled that the jury ought to have entertained a doubt about his guilt. The judges cited ‘compounding improbabilities’ to conclude that the verdicts on five counts reached in 2018 were ‘unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence.’

“In a statement, Cardinal Pell reiterated his assertion that he had committed no crimes. ‘I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice,’ he said. ‘This has been remedied today with the High Court’s unanimous decision.'”

By Livia Albeck-Ripka and Damien Cave, The New York Times — Read more …

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