Philadelphia Clergy Sex-abuse Case Jury Resumes Deliberations

By John Martin
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 11, 2012

Jurors in the landmark sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests resumed deliberations this afternoon after a three-day break.

The panel last met on Thursday, when Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina agreed to jury's request to be excused all of Friday and Monday morning because of graduations and other family commitments.

They also have requested to be off Wednesday if they had not reached verdicts against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan.

The panel of seven men and five women got the case June 1 after 11 weeks of trial. Thursday was the first day since the jurors started that they did not ask the judge and lawyers for legal guidance or pieces of evidence to review.

Lynn is the first church official nationwide to be tried for allegedly covering up child sex abuse by priests. The former clergy secretary for the archdiocese is accused of conspiracy and endangering children by recommending that Brennan and another priest, Edward Avery, be allowed to live or work at parishes in the 1990s despite alleged signs they might abuse minors.

Brennan is accused of trying to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

Avery, who has been defrocked, pleaded guilty before the trial to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.

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