Cardinal George Pell is being investigated over a fresh child abuse allegation by a new accuser, just days after the High Court quashed his convictions on historical charges. Source: Herald Sun.
By Anthony Dowsley and Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
Victoria Police has been conducting a secret probe into Cardinal Pell while he appealed against his convictions to the High Court.
It is believed the new allegation has been made by a man who works in a professional role. The alleged incident is believed to date back to the 1970s.
Cardinal Pell, 78, has always vehemently denied any sexual abuse, and news of the fresh investigation is frustrating for those close to him.
“In any police matter there should be due process through the proper channels,” spokeswoman for Cardinal Pell, Katrina Lee, said.
In an interview to air tonight on Sky News, Cardinal Pell describes his treatment by police in the original investigation as “extraordinary”.
Police have not yet approached him or his lawyers.
Details of the new claim come as Cardinal Pell awaits the public release of findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The new investigation, and the potential for further criminal proceedings, could significantly delay the release of those findings, which were redacted to avoid prejudicing criminal matters.
It is not known when the most recent complaint was made, but it is believed detectives from the Sano taskforce want to question the Cardinal. Until yesterday, he was not aware of the new investigation.
Cardinal Pell was released from Barwon Prison last week after his convictions were quashed by the High Court. He spent 405 days in jail.
The court found the jury that found him guilty was wrong to do so, having not considered the entirety of the evidence at trial.
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Cardinal George Pell’s prison journal records 400 days of purgatory (The Australian)
Pell’s sad saga of suffering (The Australian)
George Pell Easter message: In the suffering, we find redemption (The Australian)