George Pell Civil Suit
The father of a former choirboy who prosecutors had alleged was sexually abused by George Pell in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral has launched civil action in an attempt to sue the cardinal and the Catholic Church.
In 2018, Pell was found guilty by a County Court jury of abusing two then-teenage choirboys in December 1996. However, those convictions were quashed by the High Court in 2020 and Pell was released from prison after spending more than a year in custody.
The full bench of the High Court unanimously quashed Pell’s convictions after the country’s seven most senior judges found there was a “significant possibility” an innocent person was found guilty at trial. Pell pleaded not guilty and had maintained his innocence.
At the trial, one of the former choirboys gave evidence alleging he and his friend were abused after a Sunday mass by the church leader, who in 1996 was the Archbishop of Melbourne.
The second choirboy died in his 30s in 2014, having never made a complaint against Pell. He died from an accidental drug overdose.
The deceased man’s father, who cannot be identified, has lodged a civil case against the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Pell. The case is listed for a directions hearing in the Supreme Court on Thursday.