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)

The Latest: Pell to be stripped of Order of Australia honor

August 20, 2019 - 9:00 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on an appeals court upholding the sex abuse convictions of Cardinal George Pell (all times local):

10:50 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Cardinal George Pell will be stripped of his Order of Australia honor after he lost his court appeal.

Morrison made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday after a Victoria state appeals court ruled 2-1 to uphold Pell's convictions for molesting two choirboys more than two decades ago.

Pell was sentenced to six years in prison in March and was ordered to serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months before he will be eligible for parole.

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


9:40 a.m.

An Australian court has upheld convictions against the most senior Catholic to be found guilty of sexually abusing children.

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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