March 13, 2019 / 12:18 AM / in a month

Australia's Cardinal Pell sentenced to six years jail for sexually abusing choir boys

Cardinal George Pell arrives at County Court in Melbourne, Australia, February 27, 2019. AAP Image/David Crosling/via REUTERS

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years in jail by an Australian court on Wednesday for sexually abusing two choir boys in the 1990s at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.

Pell, 77, is the highest ranking Catholic priest worldwide to be convicted for child sex offences.

“In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” County Court of Victoria Chief Judge Peter Kidd said in the sentencing, which took more than an hour.

“Viewed overall, I consider your moral culpability across both episodes to be high.”

Kidd set a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Pell will be registered as a sex offender for life, he said.

Pell, who was found guilty in December, has maintained he is innocent and has filed an appeal on three grounds, set to be heard in June.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Michael Perry

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