(CNN)The former Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, who was found guilty in May of concealing the abuse of altar boys in the 1970s by pedophile priest James Fletcher, has successfully appealed his conviction.
A court in New South Wales on Thursday ruled in favor of Wilson, saying there was reasonable doubt the clergyman had ever committed the crime, according to a statement from New South Wales Courts.
Wilson - Catholic - Official - Sex - Abuse
The 68-year-old Wilson had been the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to be convicted of covering up sex abuse. He avoided prison after a court earlier sentenced him to home detention under his sister's custody.
Wilson resigned his post in July, even as he continued efforts to appeal the original conviction.
Verdict - Wilson - Moment - Implications - Members
The original guilty verdict against Wilson was seen as a pivotal moment with potentially far-reaching implications for other clergy members implicated in the child sex abuse scandal that's engulfed the Catholic Church globally.
Wilson was an assistant priest when Fletcher, a Catholic priest based in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, abused altar boys in the mid-1970s.
Prosecutors - Archbishop - Abuse - Authorities - Fletcher
Prosecutors had argued the Archbishop failed to report the abuse to authorities, allowing Fletcher to remain in the clergy and abuse other children.
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNN
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