There was a hearing yesterday to determine how long Catholic Cardinal George Pell (below), now officially convicted of child sex abuse, would spend in jail. As you’d expect, his lawyer tried to play down the seriousness of his crimes, but oh my goodness, you need to hear the arguments he used to minimize child rape.
Attorney Robert Richter acted like the child wasn’t really injured or traumatized, saying this incident was “no more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating.”
Oh. It wasn’t child rape. It was just a regular rape, and the kid didn’t even enjoy it.
Then it got worse, as Richter tried to argue Pell wasn’t a rogue priest abusing his power at all… because Mass had concluded before the boy was sodomized, which means Pell was off the clock.
Richter shifted ground. Pell was not, as he put his penis in that boy’s mouth, acting as archbishop but only as a man. Mass had finished and that was the only reason Pell was at St Patrick’s.
“The only differential of power is that he is an adult – for reasons inexplicable – with an urge to do what he did,” said Richter. “He is not abusing his position as archbishop but he is abusing his position … as a grown man.”
[Judge Peter] Kidd was not impressed.
… Richter pointed out helpfully that (if Pell had in fact done anything at all) he exerted “No force greater than was required to achieve penetration.” There were no physical injuries, no ejaculation, no recording of the offences and he did not commit them while on bail or parole.
See?! It’s not rape rape. It’s just garden variety rape. Basic rape, if you will. By a man who was off the clock.
(Rudy Giuliani, you’ve met your match when it comes to distorting reality.)
Judge Kidd will hand down his sentence on March 13. Richter has said he’ll appeal the ruling immediately after that.
***Update***: The lawyer has apologized for saying it was only “plain vanilla” rape. He didn’t apologize for saying Pell was merely abusing his authority as a man but not as an archbishop… because Mass had ended.