George Pell: father of former choirboy files civil claim against cardinal and Catholic church

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The Guardian

A civil claim against Cardinal George Pell and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne will be heard in the Victorian supreme court on Thursday.

The Age reported that the case had been filed by the father of a boy who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Pell.

Pell has always maintained his innocence in the matter. He faced trial over the allegation in 2018 and was convicted but the high court later overturned the verdict and cleared the cardinal.

More details are expected to emerge at today’s directions hearing.

In December 2018, a Melbourne jury unanimously convicted Pell on five charges relating to two complainants.

One of the complainants said Pell sexually assaulted him and another 13-year-old boy in the priest’s sacristy some time in December 1996, after presiding over Sunday solemn mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

The second complainant died of an accidental overdose in 2014, and it is reportedly his father who has made the civil claim.

The claim was filed in 2020 by Shine Lawyers, who have previously represented the father.

In April 2020, the high court ordered Pell to be released from prison and his convictions were quashed.

It found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to Pell’s guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted.

July 14, 2022 at 07:21AM

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