Cardinal George Pell leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: Stefan Postles/AAP New George Pell details come to light
Cardinal George Pell leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court. Picture: Stefan Postles/AAP New George Pell details come to light

George Pell accused of cinema, pool abuse

CARDINAL George Pell is accused of abusing a complainant while watching the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind at a country Victorian cinema.

Australia's highest-ranked Catholic is also accused of abusing another complainant at a swimming pool.

Pell, 76, returned to Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday for week three of a committal hearing as he fights charges of multiple historical sex offences involving multiple complainants.

The court has not released details of the charges.

Defence barrister Robert Richter QC questioned cinema sales manager John Bourke whether he or his staff were alerted to someone being abused during a screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Cardinal George Pell attended a hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court today. Picture: Stefan Postles/AAP
Cardinal George Pell attended a hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court today. Picture: Stefan Postles/AAP

"The situation is this: if someone is heard to scream out in the balcony, an usher would have heard?" Mr Richter asked.

"If someone was heard to scream or yell ... that would have been something that would be reported or investigated?" Mr Bourke said it would have been investigated and also said he did not remember seeing Pell at the cinema.

Pell also faces an allegation he committed a sex offence at a swimming pool. But a man who was also at the pool told the court he did not see anything "untoward".

"There was nothing remotely inappropriate?" defence barrister Ruth Shann asked. "For me personally, no," the man said.

Solicitor Simon Acott said one of Pell's accusers contacted his legal practice in 2016 to make a complaint about clergy abuse.

It's alleged the complainant told Mr Acott "lots of stuff came back to me when I saw the TV special on George Pell".

"I can hear him saying 'I was at the pool and I was abused by Pell'," Mr Acott said.

Earlier on Monday, a specialist who treated a complainant told the court he did not remember seeing any injuries consistent with a sex offence.

The hearing, which will determine if Pell stands trial, will resume on Tuesday.


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