Signs emerge of a long deliberation at priests’ trial

Posted: June 08, 2012

Jurors at the landmark clergy-sex abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests signaled Thursday they may be far from a verdict: The panel asked to take Friday off and to arrive late next Monday if they are still deliberating.

The jurors cited personal and family commitments. Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina granted the request, according to her staff.

The panel of seven men and five women began meeting last Friday to deliberate the endangerment and other charges against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan. They've asked the judge and lawyers for legal guidance and pieces of evidence throughout the week, but deliberated without interruption on Thursday morning.

Lynn, the former clergy secretary for the archdiocese, is accused of conspiracy and endangering children by recommending a priest, Edward Avery, for assignments in the 1990s despite alleged signs they might abuse minors. Avery, who has since been defrocked has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.

Brennan is accused of trying to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996, and of endangering other unnamed children as a parish priest in the years that followed.


Contact John P. Martin at 215-854-4774, at jmartin@phillynews.com, or follow him @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

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