Sydney, Australia, Jan 8, 2018 / 17:00 pm
The legal case against Cardinal George Pell of Australia has taken an unexpected turn, after the death of Damian Dignan, who accused Pell of committing acts of sexual abuse.
Dignan died of leukemia last week in the Australian town of Ballarat, which will likely impact a committal hearing scheduled for March 5 addressing the sexual abuse charges levelled against Pell.
In March 2016, Dignan and two former classmates from St. Alipius school in Ballarat who together accused Pell of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were minors. The cardinal had previously been accused of acts of child sexual abuse dating as far back as 1961.
Without the sworn testimony of Dignan in court, it is possible that prosecutors could drop the case altogether. However, Victorian Police did not confirm or deny the plausibility of this happening, especially because the prosecution could still use sworn statements or evidence given under oath made before Dignan's death.