George Pell Faces Fresh Child Abuse Allegations from New Accuser Just Days after Cardinal's Convictions Were Quashed by the High Court and He Said He "Wouldn't Be Entirely Surprised" If Police Came after Him Again
By Charlie Coe and Zoe Zaczek
April 13, 2020
Cardinal George Pell is reportedly under police investigation after a new accuser came forward with fresh allegations of child abuse.
A week on from his successful High Court appeal against child sex convictions, reports said Victoria Police had been investigating a separate accusation against Pell, 78.
Police are yet to approach Pell or his legal team over the fresh allegation - which is understood to date back to the 1970s, according to the Herald Sun.
|Cardinal George Pell is reportedly under police investigation after a new accuser brought forward fresh child abuse allegations. Pictured: Pell arrives at the Seminary Of The Good Shepherd in Sydney on April 8|
|George Pell leaves Barwon Prison on April 7 after his child sex convictions were quashed|
A man who now works in a professional role reportedly made the accusation.
A spokeswoman for the cardinal said on Monday night: 'In any police matter there should be due process through the proper channels.'
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest the new allegations are true - only that police are reportedly investigating.
Cardinal Pell was not told of the fresh investigation until Monday, the paper reported.
A recorded interview between Cardinal Pell and Sky News Australia presenter Andrew Bolt will air on Tuesday night, in which Cardinal Pell said he 'wouldn't be entirely surprised' if police attempted to prosecute him again.
Bolt asked the cardinal whether he was ashamed of the Catholic church's handling of child sex abuse scandals.
'Yes. There are two levels. One is the crimes itself and then the treating it so inadequately for so long,' Cardinal Pell said.
'It's like cutting out a cancer. Please God, we've got rid of it.'
Cardinal Pell said he condemns 'these sort of activities', adding he has seen the damage sexual abuse has done to victims.
'One of the things that grieves me is the suggestion that I'm anti-victim, or not sufficiently sympathetic,' he said.
Pell also criticised the ABC's role in presenting a one-sided view of his legal ordeal.
|Pope Benedict XVI with Cardinal George Pell in July 2008 at an inter-faith meeting in Sydney|
'I believe in free speech,' Cardinal Pell said. 'I acknowledge the right of those who differ from me to just state their views.
'But in a national broadcaster, to have an overwhelming presentation of one view and only one view, that's a betrayal of the national interest.'
The interview also sheds light on Cardinal Pell's experiences in jail - where he befriended a number of inmates, including a convicted murderer.
|Cardinal Pell (pictured in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City in 2013) has always maintained his innocence. He was not told of the reported fresh investigation until Monday|
The cardinal won his appeal bid to the High Court on April 7 and walked free from Barwon Prison, near Geelong, after more than 400 days behind bars.
He travelled from Melbourne to Sydney on Wednesday - stopping briefly at a petrol station to buy a phone charger and newspapers.
|The 78-year-old travelled from Melbourne to Sydney on April 8 - stopping briefly at a petrol station (pictured)|
Cardinal Pell arrived at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush in Sydney's west, at about 9pm on April 8.
He released a statement saying the serious injustice he suffered had been remedied.
'I hold no ill will to my accused, I do not want my acquittal to add to the hurt and bitterness so many feel; there is certainly hurt and bitterness enough,' he said on Tuesday.
The 78-year-old said his trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church or how Australian church authorities dealt with paedophilia.
|The 78-year-old spoke candidly about the church's failings following his release from prison in a sit down interview with Sky News Australia presenter Andrew Bolt. Pell is pictured in 2008|
'The point was whether I had committed these awful crimes, and I did not,' he said.
In December 2018, a jury found Cardinal Pell guilty of five charges, accepting evidence of one complainant that the then-Archbishop of Melbourne had sexually abused him and another 13-year-old choirboy at St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996.
One of the choirboys died in 2014, prompting the other to bring the allegations to police.
In an initial trial, a jury was unable to reach a verdict. The second jury was unanimous in its decision. An appeal to Victoria's Court of Appeal last year was unsuccessful.
Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence, a fact noted in the High Court's 26-page decision.