Lawyers for Australian Cardinal George Pell have filed an appeal with the country’s highest court to have his convictions on sexually assaulting two teenage choirboys overturned.
The 78-year-old Pell was found guilty last December of molesting the two boys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick Cathedral in 1996 while serving as archbishop of the Melbourne diocese. He was sentenced back in March to six years in prison.
The Victoria Court of Appeal rejected an appeal filed by Pell last month by a vote of 2-1. There is no guarantee the High Court will even take up Pell’s latest appeal.
Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic official convicted in connection with the global child sexual abuse scandal that has embroiled the church for three decades. He rose through the ranks to become the Vatican’s treasurer and economic minister, and a member of the Vatican’s Council of Cardinals, who serve as Pope Francis’s Cabinet and inner circle of advisers.
He took a leave of absence from the Vatican in 2016 after his indictment, and his term as economic minister expired in February. He has since been removed from the council of advisers since his conviction.