Paedophile priest George Pell arrives for pre-sentencing hearing

Paedophile priest George Pell arrives for pre-sentencing hearing


1996

– Pell appointed Archbishop of Melbourne by Pope John Paul II

– Pell sexually abuses two 13-year-old choirboys after a Sunday solemn mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral

– A second indecent act is committed by Pell against one of the choirboys in a corridor at the Cathedral.

2016

– The Herald Sun reports Pell is being investigated by Victoria Police’s Sano taskforce for ‘multiple offences’ committed while he was a priest in Ballarat and Archbishop of Melbourne

– Pell says the allegations are ‘without foundation and utterly false’ and calls for an inquiry into how the police investigation became public

– Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton asks the anti-corruption watchdog to investigate the leak, but denies it came from police

Cardinal George Pell, 77, is known as the Vatican's treasurer and had been granted a leave of absence while facing trial over child sex offences in Australia. He has surrendered his passport

Cardinal George Pell, 77, is known as the Vatican's treasurer and had been granted a leave of absence while facing trial over child sex offences in Australia. He has surrendered his passport

Cardinal George Pell, 77, is known as the Vatican’s treasurer and had been granted a leave of absence while facing trial over child sex offences in Australia. He has surrendered his passport

– Pell gives evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s inquiry into abuse in Ballarat

– Under Vatican rules, Pell gives Pope Francis his resignation on his 75th birthday, as is customary. It is not accepted

– Victoria Police investigators hand over to the state’s Office of Public Prosecutions a brief of evidence on allegations of sexual abuse by Pell

– Officers travel to Rome to interview Pell over the abuse claims. He voluntarily participates in the interview.

2017

– Police present their final brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecutions to consider charges

– Prosecutors give police the green light to charge Pell.

JUNE 2017

– Pell is charged with multiple counts of historic child sex offences

– He denies the charges and vows to clear his name

– Lawyers for Pell appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court

– Pell takes leave from his Vatican finance chief role to fight the charges.

JULY 2017

– Pell returns to Australia

– He hires top barrister Robert Richter QC

– Supporters set up a fund to help Pell fight the charges.

MARCH 2018

– Prosecutors drop one of the charges against Pell

– A month-long committal hearing begins to determine if Pell will face trial

– Prosecutors withdraw more charges

– Mr Richter claims police conducted a ‘get Pell operation’ and accuses magistrate Belinda Wallington of bias. She refuses to disqualify herself from the case.

MAY 2018

– Magistrate Belinda Wallington orders Pell stand trial on some charges, but throws out others

– Pell formally pleads ‘not guilty’

– Two trials are ordered, separating the 1970s and 1990s allegations

– A Victorian County Court employee is sacked for looking up information on the Pell case.

AUGUST 2018

– The 1990s ‘cathedral trial’ begins in the Victorian County Court in Melbourne

– Pell pleads not guilty again to one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four of indecent acts with a child, over incidents involving two 13-year-old choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.

SEPTEMBER 2018

– The jury is discharged, unable to reach a verdict following a week of deliberation. Some jurors weep.

NOVEMBER 2018

– A retrial begins. The jury aren’t told of the previous hung jury.

DECEMBER 2018

– Pell is found guilty on all charges by an unanimous jury

– Mr Richter says Pell will appeal

– Suppression orders prevent Australian media reporting the verdict but it spreads through international media within hours.

FEBRUARY 2019

– Hearings begin ahead of the second trial. Prosecutors drop another charge

– An appeal is filed against the cathedral trial conviction

– A County Court judge deems vital evidence inadmissible

– Prosecutors withdraw all remaining charges against Pell and drop a second trial over allegations Pell indecently assaulted boys in Ballarat in the 1970s when he was a parish priest

– Pell is due to be taken into custody on Wednesday February 27 as the plea hearing begins.

MARCH 2019

– Pell is due to be sentenced by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd.

Australian Associated Press 

 

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