Australian Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in jail with a non-parole period of three years and eight months for sexually abusing two teenage boys in 1996.

In Melbourne’s County court on Wednesday, Chief Judge Peter Kidd handed down the sentence, taking into account Pell’s age and health, the severity of the crimes, the relationship of trust between Pell and the victims and the widespread publicity of the case, reports SBS news.

Due to Pell’s age, Judge Kidd said he imposed a shorter non-parole period than usual “to increase the prospect of you living out the last part of your life in the community.”

“You are one of the most senior figures within the Catholic Church globally. You remain a cardinal of the Catholic Church. You are a figure of significant interest to those of the Catholic faith, and to those throughout Australia more generally,” Judge Kidd said.

“As I directed the jury who convicted you in this trial, you are not to be made a scapegoat for any failings, or perceived failings of the Catholic Church.”

During sentencing, Judge Kidd addressed clerical or institutional sexual abuse survivors in the courtroom and beyond and said the sentencing of Pell was not “vindication” of their trauma.

“Cardinal Pell has not been convicted of any wrongs committed against you,” he said.

Pell, 77, maintains his innocence and intends to challenge the conviction in the Court of Appeal, which will be heard in June.

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  • Not long enough for what he’s been found guilty of.

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  • He is a public person who was in a position where people looked up to him and respected him – He should be made an example of to show people in those positions that it is not ok to molest young children. He should have been given a longer sentence – 6 years with the option of being out in just under 4 years is not enough punishment for what he was convicted of – very sorry to his victims that this is not enough for all that he has put them through :( Sex offenders register doesn’t really mean much in the way of a punishment in this case!

    I wonder if he will be given a secure spot in the prison or in with the rest of the inmates??? People like this don’t deserve any special treatment in prison and they shouldn’t be protected from the rest of the inmates

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  • Those poor choirboys, honesty, why do people do that

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  • This infuriates me!! Why should he be able to live his older life in public when he robbed those boys of their youth my traumatising them! He should rot in jail!!

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  • The victims appear to have some justice.

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  • This sentence is not heavy enough in my opinion !

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  • Definitely feel like it was such a light sentence

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  • it is a disgusting result maybe the other prisoners will have something to say to him

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  • Not enough for what he has done the sentence should be jail for more than 6 years

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  • This seems a very inadequate sentence for the crime.

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  • Should have been longer! There’s no justice here. He will be put into protection.

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  • I saw this on telly and waited for the sentence though l thought it would have been a longer sentence for what he did to those boys.

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  • I’m glad to see he was sentenced. But it’s indeed quite bad that after three and a half years he will be eligible for parole.

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  • What an absolute joke. Its disgusting that you can spend a measly three and a half years in jail for raping children simply because you’re old. He was convicted of molesting children. That means in the eyes of the law he IS guilty. He should be punished accordingly.

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  • This makes me very sad.

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