Philadelphia Jury Says It Is 'Hung' on Most Counts in Priest Sex Abuse Trial

By Tony Hanson, Steve Tawa, Walt Hunter
CBS Philly
June 20, 2012

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) The jury in the Philadelphia priest sex abuse case told the judge on the 12th day of deliberations that they are unable to reach a verdict on four of the five charges in this landmark case.

In a note to Judge Teresa Sarmina, the panel said that it has developed "firm, fixed opinions" and "entrenched positions" among its members, making it unable to return verdicts.

But the judge, after offering some additional help to the jury, told them to get some lunch and then go back to work. They resumed deliberations until about 4 p.m. when they went home for the day. They will resume deliberations on Friday after taking Thursday off.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of, while serving as Secretary of Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, failing to remove from ministry priests suspected of previous sexual or other inappropriate conduct with minors.

Father James Brennan, one of those priests, is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy (see related stories).

As soon as the jury announced that it was deadlocked, defense attorney William Brennan (no relation to the defendant) moved for a mistrial. It was just as quickly denied.

The judge met with the attorneys in the case, then told the jurors that she will offer some additional or clarifying remarks if they would find that helpful. She said she would also offer to read the jury charge again if that would be helpful.

In addition, Judge Sarmina said she would allow jurors to re-hear lengthy portions of the testimony that the jury had previously requested, but had been previously denied by the judge.

It was not revealed on which charge, or which defendant, the jurors were able to agree on a verdict.


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