Senior Catholic cleric convicted

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been convicted of molesting choirboys.
3:14 | 02/26/19

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Transcript for Senior Catholic cleric convicted
ABC's Julie MacFarlane. There in London and George pal he's the highest ranking Vatican official to be charged with with a sex crime. What is going on here and what did the Vatican now prior to these charges. Donna that's right he is the missed seeing the two sleep to be convicted. All of these crimes invited was actually in the unsealed today off the prosecutors and Australia decided not to go ahead. With another trial involving young boys in the 1970s. But let me just again some contacts and what's happens. He has been found guilty by a jury. On five counts of sexual crimes. One of them involves the rape of a young boy who was their teen years old. A choir boy. The boy who is also a seventeen. He has been found guilty of molesting him now these crimes date back to 1996. Did when he was an archbishop. They happened in Melvin cathedral. I'm he maintains his innocence he dismissed all the charges. He said that the allegations were false and he will be appealing at his pre sentence hearing not Stotts tomorrow. Now this morning to Vioxx can less baseman came out with a statement today saying it. Debuted the Haiti see respected the strip district in judicial system. But no said that Connell pal maintained his innocence and the chat says it has gained two waits until the outcome of the trial and everything's. Sudden don't know when the process is complete. And it he has diplomatic immunity being a Vatican official is that right. So he was. Economy minister of sorts he was the pace financial advisor. In times of his authority he was trying to more or less is the the highest fake. In the Catholic chats not he was teammates and from his position December and his tenure as. The ended the treasurer to the basket an expired on Sunday. So when. This that you days this trial thrust its fest began it was back into any seventeen when he was actually in the Alaskan. And the Baskin it is a states on its Scion of so it's insert. You know they're Victoria police Victorian a straight away these crimes why and it have been added to didn't commit says they have no extradition treaty. With a box Ken and he had diplomatic immunity because he was a diplomat and say it. He he was in his in Italy in the basket and back into any seventeen and for health reasons he was hanging back a bit spot he did get back to Australia. Willingly to do his and he with the police. I'm still he dismissal of the charges and he will be protesting his innocence. When the pre sentencing begins tomorrow but in earning tens of that can protect him or quit he actually face prison time. So the judge has indicated that he will jail palace in his for his crimes he could face up to fifty is ten years. Pack counts which he's been found guilty on. And so it remains be seen but of course these these things are always difficult because our historic. Allegations it's hard to hard to prove and also one of the victims in this he died in tiny fourteen from a drug evidence Harry. Disturbing story thank you to.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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