An Australian judge on Wednesday reportedly handed down a six-year prison term to a cardinal found guilty last year of committing child sex abuse more than two decades ago. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

An Australian judge on Wednesday reportedly handed down a six-year prison term to a cardinal found guilty last year of committing child sex abuse more than two decades ago.

Cardinal George Pell was convicted in December of molesting a pair of choirboys in the late 1990s at a cathedral in Melbourne, according to The Associated Press.

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The 77-year-old – who has denied the accusations and plans to mount an appeal – will not be considered for parole until he spends at least three years and eight months behind bars, the report said.

Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd, who sentenced the religious official, indicated that factors such as age and a lack of prior criminal record, led him to believe that Pell would not be a repeat offender.

But he also said he believed Pell’s “conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,” adding that he had appeared to lack remorse.

FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, Cardinal George Pell leaves the County Court in Melbourne, Australia. An Australian judge sentenced Wednesday, March 13, the most senior Catholic, Pell, to be convicted of child sex abuse to 6 years in prison for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral more than 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, Cardinal George Pell leaves the County Court in Melbourne, Australia. An Australian judge sentenced Wednesday, March 13, the most senior Catholic, Pell, to be convicted of child sex abuse to 6 years in prison for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral more than 20 years ago. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

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One of the victims released a statement through their lawyer, saying it was difficult to fully digest the sentencing and that Pell’s anticipated appeal clouded the moment.

"It is hard for me to allow myself to feel the gravity of this moment, the moment when the sentence is handed down, the moment when justice is done," the statement from the man said. "It is hard for me, for the time being, to take comfort in this outcome. I appreciate that the court has acknowledged what was inflicted upon me as a child. However, there is no rest for me. Everything is overshadowed by the forthcoming appeal."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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