1 May 2018Hot off the Press
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Cardinal George Pell will stand trial for multiple historical sexual offence charges, following a Magistrate’s decision in Melbourne this morning.
Cardinal Pell has pleaded not guilty to any of the charges, strenuously denying all of them.
While Magistrate Belinda Wallington has committed Cardinal Pell to face some charges, many, including the most serious charges, have been dismissed for lack of evidence.
Among the charges dismissed were allegations of sexual offences by Cardinal Pell at both a cinema and a chapel in the Victorian city Ballarat in the 1970s.
Ms Wallington said inconsistencies in one of the complainant’s evidence warranted examination in the context of a “fundamental defect in the evidence”, according to ABC.
“The evidence as a whole is not a sufficient weight for a jury to convict,” she said.
As is custom for cases of this nature, evidence remains confidential.
Mr Pell, who was the Vatican’s finance chief has become the highest-ranked Catholic ever to be sent to trial over historic sex offences.
A date for a trial before a jury is expected to be set tomorrow during a directions hearing in the County Court.
Until the trial, Cardinal Pell will remain placed on bail.
This is a developing story.