Disgraced Australian cleric George Pell sued for sexual abuse

World | 7 Mar 2019 11:04 am

A man who alleges he was sexually molested by George Pell as a boy in the 1970s sued the disgraced cardinal in an Australian court today.

The 50-year-old alleges in the filing lodged in the Victoria state Supreme Court that he was a victim of physical and sexual abuse while in the care of St. Joseph's Boys Home in Pell's hometown of Ballarat between 1974 and 1978.

The suit names Pell, the trustees of the Sisters of Nazareth, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Victoria state.

Because the man alleges he is a victim of sexual abuse, state law prevents him from being identified in the media.

He alleged Pell sexually abused him three or four times in a swimming pool at the church-run children's home.

"It took a lot of courage and soul searching to be prepared to tell my story, accusing one of the most senior Catholics in the world of serious criminal offences and eventually I was resigned to having my day in court,'' the man said in a statement through his lawyer.

Pell will be sentenced next week for convictions of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and his 13-year-old friend in 1996 and 1997, months after the 77-year-old cardinal became archbishop of Melbourne.

Pell has denied any wrongdoing and intends to appeal his convictions in the Court of Appeal in June.

Each of his five convictions carries a potential 10-year maximum sentence. But most of sentences for individual convictions will likely be served concurrently. -AP

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