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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    George Pell convicted of historic sex abuse (seeking leave to appeal)

    As noted in the moderation threads I've moved a number of the George Pell posts offline because of possible sub judice issues.

    Several of the general posts were moved back. I've decided for now to leave the remaining posts offline, although most of them were probably OK, but to indicate that some degree of discussion on the issue is allowed by starting a new thread.

    Cardinal Pell has been charged with historic sex abuse offences and has indicated he will appear in Victoria on the 18th of July and has stated the charges are false and he will defend them vigorously. For some details see here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-2...fences/8547668

    While the case is being tried we do not want comment on here to potentially influence jurors or cause otherwise good jurors to be disqualified, however small the risk of these things happening. Therefore please do not post any of the following:

    * arguments that prejudge that Pell is guilty or innocent based on a selection of the facts, political assumptions or results of other cases
    * strong praise or criticism of Pell, his accusers, the police handling of the matter or the courts, whether related to the case or not.

    The following however are permitted:

    * factual details of progress of the case
    * debate about whether or not Pell will get a fair trial provided that that debate does not discuss his guilt or innocence except very hypothetically
    * discussion of Vatican responses to the case (ditto to above)
    * discussion of the impact on Pell's standing and positions in the Vatican

    etc.

    If in any doubt at all I will tend to delete questionable posts entirely without warning and not put them back.

    If quoting from or linking to outside material please read it very carefully to ensure it complies with the above.

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    And committed to stand trial for 2 of the historical sexual crimes, from the 1970's to the 1990's. Allegedly, I guess.

    Apparently the treasurer for the vatican is not wanting for coin for legal representations. Go figure.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    And committed to stand trial for 2 of the historical sexual crimes, from the 1970's to the 1990's. Allegedly, I guess.
    Apparently the treasurer for the vatican is not wanting for coin for legal representations. Go figure.
    And now we have a verdict:
    Cardinal George Pell, once the third most powerful man in the Vatican in Rome and Australia’s most senior Catholic, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old boys in Melbourne in the mid 1990s. Pell was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and guilty of four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16. The assaults occurred in December 1996 and early 1997 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, months after Pell was inaugurated as archbishop of Melbourne.

  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Yes, the primary case is now over and all suppression orders have been lifted.

    The case is subject to appeal and I have seen some lawyers saying that they think Pell has good prospects of winning the appeal based on the guilty finding being so reliant on the evidence of a single witness. However the prosecution's case doesn't rely solely on one witness's testimony but also on establishing that that witness knows things about the layout of the area in question that they would not know if they were making it all up, so we'll see.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    There are good reasons to think that Pell's appeal will be succesful. The case smacks of trying to get a high-profile Catholic, just like the ludicrous and overturned Chamberlain guilty verdict was motivated by trying to get someone from what they regarded as a cult. See Catholics, Sex, and Cardinal Pell from Quadrant:

    The verdict revealed today is not an indictment of George Pell and the Catholic Church. It is an indictment of the media, whose vindictive witch hunt led to frenzied demands that someone, anyone, be punished. In this case the designated victim has done more than anyone to eradicate the very abuse for which he was laughably convicted.

    Hopefully, the verdict will be overturned on appeal, which strikes me as most likely, as was the case with the equally egregious verdict against Archbishop Wilson.

    Harm has been done. Firstly to Archbishop Wilson and Cardinal Pell, both faithful servants of the Church and the wider community. Secondly to the Church, which despite having lower rates of abuse than other bodies, has been, with a few appalling exceptions, open, forthright and pro-active in acknowledging abuse where it occurred, and putting processes in place to support victims. Many other institutions face a far larger public reckoning; there is filth lurking in places yet undreamed of. Thirdly to Wilson and Pell’s friends and families, who, like many other friends or family of alleged child abusers, have been subject to irrational hatred and slander, as well as unnecessary pain and doubt and confusion. Fourthly to genuine victims of child abuse, who, seeing these trials and their politically-driven outcomes, will wonder how they can rely on those whose duty it is to listen to them and protect them.

    And finally, following these debacles, harm has been done to Australia’s courts and police, whose credibility and independence is rightly open to question.

    __________________________

    The Herald Sun‘s Shannon Deery lists the defence’s ten key arguments which failed to persuade jurors.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    There are good reasons to think that Pell's appeal will be succesful.
    Father Frank Brennan on 730:

    Now, I don't think I'm being trite in saying even if the processes of the law were to show that the verdict were unsafe, and that won't be a matter for me, that's a matter for an appeal court, and I passionately believe in our legal system as well as the church, but even if that happens, we're all left with the realisation that 12 decent Australians off the street listening to the evidence of the victim and listening to everything that was outlined, including the improbabilities, say we are absolutely convinced that Cardinal Pell did something dreadful to this young man and his companion.
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  8. #8
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    https://george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50

    GREG CRAVEN

    So what we have witnessed is a combined effort by much of the media, including the public broadcaster, and elements of Victoria’s law enforcement agency, to blacken the name of someone before he went to trial. And remember, Victoria’s prosecutorial authorities never determined to proceed. They returned the police brief three times, before the police forced the case to go forward.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idledim View Post
    https://george-pell-a-case-in-which-justice-never-had-a-fair-chance/news-story/7511475687c011524b623c61e65a6f50

    GREG CRAVEN

    So what we have witnessed is a combined effort by much of the media, including the public broadcaster, and elements of Victoria’s law enforcement agency, to blacken the name of someone before he went to trial. And remember, Victoria’s prosecutorial authorities never determined to proceed. They returned the police brief three times, before the police forced the case to go forward.
    He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.

    Why hasn't he been in jail for the last 2 months?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.
    As a high profile defendant, Pell certainly received much adverse publicity. But he also had many public defenders, and an expensive defence. There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    As a high profile defendant, Pell certainly received much adverse publicity. But he also had many public defenders, and an expensive defence. There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.
    Yes the church isn't short of a quid when it comes to defending its own against child sex charges. Pity they don't follow the same approach to compensating victims.
    Maybe Pell could justify the outlay based on the money he "saved" the church over the years by denying just compensation, and telling people to be quiet and go away.
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    what exactly is "vanilla penetration sex"? is there such a legal jargon, or is it a slang expression used in in this case to describe a not so serious sexual offense ?
    Last edited by ER; 27-02-2019 at 03:53 PM.
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  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Byrom View Post
    There must be many poor people who plead guilty due to lack of money or who can't afford to appeal their verdicts whom we never hear about.
    That is not good either.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road runner View Post
    He had the best defence money can buy. Still convicted by 12 ordinary people.
    After being acquitted 10-2 by 12 other ordinary people. Sometimes those ordinary people can convict wrongly, e.g. Chamberlain.

    Miranda Devine:

    It’s devastating because I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Sunday mass when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996...

    How hard it must have been to find 12 impartial souls after the campaign of vilification against Pell over the past two decades and the carefully orchestrated drip feed of lurid allegations by Victoria police to selected media against the backdrop of shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clergy around the world...

    Anyone who knows how crowded and open is the sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral after Sunday mass must know the accusations are implausible. “Only a madman would attempt to rape boys in the sacristy immediately after mass,” said Pell’s legal team.

    It is the word of one man, codenamed AA, against the word of Cardinal Pell.

    There are no witnesses and evidence was given that the second alleged victim, who died long ago, told his mother that he had not been sexually abused while a chorister.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ER View Post
    what exactly is "vanilla penetration sex"? is there such a legal jargon, or is it a slang expression used in in this case to describe a not so serious sexual offense ?
    Not sure, but my reading was the latter. As in, he "just" forced the boy to suck his penis, didn't bugger him or worse.
    Pretty grubby stuff, but I guess that's the job of the defence lawyer, picking up a princely sum for his trouble.
    Others arguing for Pell, well that's a whole other story.
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