FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, Cardinal George Pell arrives at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia. Pell’s appeal against his convictions for child molestation was largely a question of who should the jury have believed, his accuser or a senior priest whose church role was likened to Pell’s bodyguard. Pell’s accuser was a 13-year-old choirboy when he alleged he was abused by then Melbourne Archbishop Pell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in December 1996 and February 1997. The appeal court will give their verdict on Aug. 21. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

Australian court upholds cardinal's child sex convictions

August 20, 2019 - 7:41 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — An Australian court has upheld convictions against the most senior Catholic to be found guilty of children sex abuse.

The Victoria state Court of Appeal by a 2-1 majority ruling issued Wednesday rejected Cardinal George Pell's appeal of the unanimous verdicts a jury issued in December finding Pope Francis' former finance minister guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1996 and 1997.

At the time, Pell had just become archbishop of Australia's second largest city and had set up a world-first compensation arrangement for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

His lawyers are expected to appeal the decision in the High Court, Australia's final arbiter.

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