Jury Acquits Priest of Abuse
Broderick Found Guilty of Child Endangerment Involving 3 Boys

Albany Times Union
February 18, 2009

FONDA A Montgomery County jury acquitted a Roman Catholic priest Wednesday of sexually abusing three young boys, but convicted him on the lesser charge of child endangerment.

The Rev. John Broderick later told the Times Union, "At this point I'm just really tired. I'm glad I didn't get a felony. It's been a long and hard fight."

When asked, he denied doing anything wrong.

"It wasn't just about me personally it was about the priesthood being attacked," Broderick said. "I was offered a number of plea deals beforehand, some without any jail time, if I would plead to a felony. I didn't do it and I wanted to protect the priesthood."

Broderick, 48, faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of molesting the Palatine boys now ages 12, 10 and 6 between late 2006 and early 2007.

Now he faces no more than one year in jail and could be sentenced to probation.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated from 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday, with an overnight break.

"The jury has spoken that's the way the system works," said District Attorney James Conboy, who prosecuted the case himself. "I presented all the evidence we had. There was nothing more that could have been given."

Broderick's defense attorney Mark Blum, of the Syracuse area, could not be immediately reached.

"It's a case that should never, ever have come to this point," said the priest's brother, Michael W. Broderick, when reached late Wednesday.

Rev. Broderick, who was free on $50,000 bail during the trial, will be sentenced on March 31.

In final arguments Tuesday, Conboy told the jury the weeklong trial could be decided on a key issue whether they believed the testimony of the three children.

All three testified on closed-circuit television displayed inside the Fonda courtroom. One of the boys alleged the priest reached his fingers into the child's pants. Another said Broderick had served him wine. One said Broderick inappropriately touched a private area while bathing him.

Blum told jurors Tuesday the children's testimony was unreliable. One of them, he said, had previously said the priest did nothing wrong. Blum cast blame on the boys' father, painting him as a vindictive man upset at Broderick, who had become his wife's "spiritual adviser."

Conboy argued the father was hardly vindictive and, like his family, had befriended the priest. Broderick was arrested Feb. 25, 2008, at the Holy Name of Jesus Academy in Massena.

He remains assigned to the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese, from which he was suspended last year.

He said the children's father, according to case testimony, believed he was having an affair with his wife. He said he never bathed the boys and only patted their backsides externally like "at football games." He said he is sure his suspension will be lifted.

He said he harbors no ill will against the children: "I think they're victims."


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