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Sexual Misconduct

Vatican Treasurer Found Guilty of Abusing Two Underage Choir Boys Two Decades Ago

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian court has found Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican Treasurer and a former top adviser to Pope Francis, guilty on five charges of child sexual offences committed more than two decades ago against 13-year-old boys.

The verdict was made public on Tuesday following the lifting of a suppression order on the case. A jury in the Country Court of Victoria in Melbourne had found Pell guilty on Dec. 11 last year following a four-week trial.

Pell becomes the most senior Catholic clergyman worldwide to be convicted for child sex offences. He had pleaded not guilty to all five charges.

He was convicted of five sexual offences committed against the 13-year-old choir boys 22 years earlier in the priests’ sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, where Pell was archbishop. One of the two victims died in 2014.

Each of the five offences carries a maximum 10 years in jail. Pell is due to be sentenced in early March.

The verdict has been made public as the Catholic church tries to deal with a growing child sexual abuse crisis, following scandals in the United States, Chile, Germany and Australia.

Pope Francis ended a conference on sexual abuse on Sunday, calling for an “all out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”.

The Vatican said in December that Francis had removed Pell, 77, from his group of close advisers, without commenting on the trial.

Pell, who took indefinite leave in 2016 from his role as economy minister for the Vatican to fight the charges, was not called to the stand in the trial.

Instead, the jury was shown in open court a video recording of an interview Australian police held with Pell in Rome in October 2016, in which he strenuously denied the allegations.Pence tells Venezuela’s Guaido: U.S. with you 100%

The jury was also shown a video recording of the surviving victim’s testimony behind closed doors.

The court had issued a suppression order on the trial out of concern that a second trial Pell faced could be prejudiced by the outcome of the first case. But prosecutors dropped the charges on Tuesday.

Judge Peter Kidd had extended bail for Pell, who had been walking with a crutch throughout the trial, to allow him to undergo double-knee surgery in Sydney in December. His bail had been extended since then.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Sam Holmes and Neil Fullick

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Trump Adviser Rudy Giuliani Captured In Compromising Position With Woman He Was Told Was A Reporter In ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’

The forthcoming “Borat” sequel reportedly features Rudy Giuliani engaging in provocative behavior with a woman he’d been told was a reporter.

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(The Hill) — The forthcoming “Borat” sequel reportedly features Rudy Giuliani engaging in provocative behavior with a woman he’d been told was a reporter.

The adviser to President Trump appears to have unknowingly participated in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen that is poised to be released Friday on Amazon Prime Video.

According to multiple reports, Giuliani sits down for an interview at a New York hotel with the character Tutar, Borat’s teenage daughter who’s posing as a TV journalist and was played by 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova.

The 76-year-old former New York mayor is heard complimenting the supposed reporter and following her to a bedroom, where eventually he stretches out on the bed.

Vanity Fair describes the scene captured on hidden cameras, saying of Giuliani, “His hand is in his pants. Watching it, your brain turns into an exclamation point.”

Cohen, as Borat, then reportedly runs into the hotel room sporting a bikini and exclaiming, “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Giuliani did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

He told the New York Post in July that he had agreed to participate in what he believed was an interview about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response.

“This person comes in yelling and screaming,” Giuliani said of Cohen, “and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away.”

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Sexual Misconduct

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft To Reject Plea Deal In Florida Prostitution Case

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(CNN) — Robert Kraft will not accept a plea deal offered by Florida prosecutors in the case against the New England Patriots owner and other men accused of soliciting prostitution at a Jupiter, Florida, day spa, a source familiar with the case told CNN on Wednesday.


Prosecutors have offered to drop misdemeanor charges against Kraft and 24 other men in exchange for fines, community service and an admission they would be found guilty should the case go to trial, according to Mike Edmonson, spokesman for the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office.

Police said Kraft twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Video footage showed him receiving “paid acts” in a room at the spa and surveillance video shows him being driven to the spa, police Chief Daniel Kerr said last month.

The deal offered by prosecutors also stipulates that Kraft must undergo a screening for STDs.

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Sexual Misconduct

Prosecutors Offer Plea Deal For Robert Kraft’s Prostitution Charge

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(CNBC) — Prosecutors in Florida have offered Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, a deal to drop charges of soliciting prostitution in exchange for an admission that Kraft knowingly solicited prostitution at a day spa in Florida.

Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County State’s Attorney’s Office, told CNBC that Kraft and two dozen other men who are accused of paying money for sexual services, were offered the deal Monday.

Kraft, 77, will have until his next court appearance on March 28 to decide whether to accept the deferred prosecution offer or to move the case toward trial. The offer to him was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper said that under the deal, Kraft would have to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases, complete an education course about prostitution and do 100 hours of community service.

Edmondson told CNBC that the deal being offered Kraft and the other men is standard in cases where a person who has not previously been convicted of a prior crime is charged with a misdemeanor.

If Kraft and the other defendants satisfy the terms of the deal, the cases against them would be dismissed. If any of the men fail to abide by the terms after accepting the deal, prosecutors would reopen the case against them.

Kraft’s lawyer, William Burck, and the Palm Beach County State’s Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

Ian Goldstein, a Florida attorney who is representing three other defendants being prosecuted on similar charges, said, “I have no comment about the ongoing plea negotiations.”

Kraft and the other men were charged in February in a police sting as part of a human trafficking probe focusing on massage parlors in Florida. Kraft was hit with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution, and has pleaded not guilty. The businessman was not accused of human trafficking.

Authorities said Kraft had visited a spa in Jupiter, Florida, on Jan. 19 and 20 in two different Bentleys, and received sexual services in exchange for money. Both visits were captured by cameras police had hidden in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

Kraft’s second visit came hours before he watched his Patriots defeat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City.

A spokesman for Kraft had said after his arrest, “We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

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