Retrial set for March for priest who had hung jury

Rev. James J. Brennan speaks to reporters outside court after a mistrial in his case.
Rev. James J. Brennan speaks to reporters outside court after a mistrial in his case. (CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 30, 2012

A Philadelphia judge this morning set March 6 for the retrial of Rev. James J. Brennan, the Roman Catholic priest charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

Common Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Coleman met briefly with Assistant District Attorneys Patrick Blessington and Mark Cipolletti and Brennan and defense lawyers William J. Brennan Jr. and Richard J. Fuschino Jr. before setting the trial date.

Coleman also set March 4 for a pretrial conference.

Father Brennan, 49, was tried earlier this year with Msgr. William J. Lynn, 61, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

On June 22, a Common Pleas Court jury said it could not reach a verdict on the counts of attempted rape and child-endangerment lodged against Brennan and Judge M. Teresa Sarmina declared a mistrial.

Lynn was not charged with sexually abusing children. But his job as secretary for clergy gave him the responsibility for investigation allegations against priests charged with misconduct. The jury found Lynn guilty of one count of child endangerment involving a priest with a history of sexually abusing children who was allowed to live in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory where he later sexually molested a 10-year-old altar boy.

Lynn was sentenced July 24 to three to six years in prison and is now in the state prison at Camp Hill. Lynn's lawyers have appealed his conviction and sentence to the state Superior Court.


Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

We invite you to comment on this story by clicking here. Comments will be moderated.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|