- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2019

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – An Australian judge has sentenced the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse to 6 years in prison for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral more than 20 years ago.

Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd on Wednesday ordered Cardinal George Pell to serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s. The assaults happened just months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne. A court order had suppressed media reporting the news until last month.

The 77-year-old denies the allegations and will appeal his convictions in June.

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