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AGF s.r.l./REX
World News

Timeline of Cardinal George Pell's career and accusations

by Press Association

Some events in Pell's career and the criminal case:

July 16, 1996: Auxiliary Bishop George Pell is appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. He molests two choirboys that December inside St Patrick's Cathedral, according to testimony from one of the victims.

26th March 2001: Pell becomes Archbishop of Sydney.

21st October 2003: Pope John Paul II makes Pell a cardinal.

25th February 2014: Pope Francis appoints Pell to the powerful position of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

8th April 2014: One of the molested choirboys dies of a heroin overdose without alleging the crime and having told his mother he had not been abused.

5th August 2014: Victoria state police establish Task Force Sano to investigate how religious and other non-government organisations handled abuse accusations.

18th June 2015: The surviving choirboy gives his first statement to Sano detectives outlining criminal allegations against Pell.

12th December 2015: Australian media report that Pell has cancelled an appearance before an Australian inquiry into how institutions responded to child sexual abuse. Pell said he could not fly back to Australia because of ill health.

23rd December 2015: Sano publicly appeals for information relating to allegations of sexual offences while Pell was Melbourne archbishop.

1st March 2016: Pell begins testifying by video link from Rome to the Australian child abuse inquiry. Pell was critical of how the church had dealt with paedophile clerics in the past but denied he had been aware of the extent of the problem.

27th July 2016: Pell denies sexual abuse allegations made on an Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affairs program.

19th October 2016: Sano detectives go to Rome and question Pell. Pell hears details of the choirboy's allegations for the first time.

29th June 2017: Police charge Pell with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences, making him the most senior cleric to be charged in the church's abuse crisis. Pell denied the accusations and took an immediate leave of absence as Vatican finance minister to return to Australia to defend himself.

26th July 2017: Pell makes his first court appearance on charges that he sexually abused multiple children in Victoria decades earlier. Details of the allegations were not made public. Pell vows to fight the allegations.

1st May 2018: A magistrate commits Pell to stand trial, and he pleads not guilty to all charges.

2nd May 2018: A judge separates the charges into two trials, the first dating to his tenure as Melbourne archbishop and the other when he was a young priest in Ballarat in the 1970s.

15th August 2018: Trial begins in the Melbourne case and runs for four weeks.

20th September 2018: Jury discharged after failing to agree on a verdict following more than five days of deliberation.

7th November 2018: Retrial begins.

11th December 2018: Jury unanimously convicts Pell on all charges.

26th February 2019: Suppression order forbidding publication of any details about the trial is lifted. Prosecutors abandon second trial on the Ballarat charges.

13th March 2019: Judge announces Pell is sentenced to six years in prison on five sex abuse convictions and must serve three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

5th- 6th June 2019: Victoria state Court of Appeal hears his appeal against the convictions.

21st August 2019: Appeals court rules 2-1 to uphold the convictions.

13th November 2019: Australia's High Court agrees to hear an appeal next year.

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