ABC News Australia

George Pell expected to be charged with child sex offences today

29 June 2017

“The ABC has confirmed it is expected that Cardinal George Pell will be charged with multiple counts of child sex offences today.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in Ballarat in the 1970s.

Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

Last July, police confirmed they were formally investigating the complaints.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton will make a public statement on the case this morning.

“The allegations are untrue, I deny them absolutely,” Cardinal Pell said in July.

He said the allegations were part of a smear campaign by the media.

“I’m like any other Australian — I’m entitled to a fair go,” Cardinal Pell said.

However, he said he was “quite prepared to co-operate with appropriate civil and appropriate procedures”.

In October, three Victoria Police detectives flew to Rome to interview Cardinal Pell.

A Victoria Police statement issued at the time said: “Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault.”

Australia does not have an extradition treaty with the Vatican, even though it does with Italy.

As head of the Vatican’s finances, Cardinal Pell is considered number three in the Catholic hierarchy behind the Pope.

More to come.”