Jury Back on Job in Clergy Sex-Abuse Case

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 20, 2012

The waiting game continues at the Criminal Justice Center.

This morning, jurors in the child-endangerment and sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests resumed deliberations.

The 11th day of mulling possible verdicts was the second in a row without any questions for Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, and without asking to rehear any testimony.

By contrast, the panel of seven men and five women had 25 requests for legal guidance and evidence in the first nine days of deliberations.

The panel's last request before going silent was for clarifications on conspiracy and endangerment, which are the landmark charges against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former archdiocese secretary for clergy accused of not removing two priests despite signs they might abuse minors.

One, the Rev. James J. Brennan, is on trial for allegedly attempting to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996. The other, defrocked priest Edward Avery, pleaded guilty before trial to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.


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