Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' closest advisors, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys, becoming the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex crimes.
An Australian jury unanimously found Pell guilty on one count of sexual abuse and four counts of indecent assault against two boys at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s.
Pell, now aged 77, was accused of cornering the boys — then aged 12 and 13 — in the cathedral's sacristy following Sunday mass and forcing them to perform a sex act on him.
The cleric, who has remained free on bail, denied all the charges and an initial trial ended with a hung jury in September, but he was convicted on retrial on December 11.
A wide-ranging suppression order from the presiding judge had prevented the media from reporting even the existence of court proceedings and the ensuing trials since May.
The order was lifted during a court hearing on Tuesday when prosecutors decided against proceeding with a planned second trial dealing with separate allegations against Pell dating from the 1970s.
There was no immediate reaction from the Vatican but Pell maintained his innocence Tuesday.