Priest sex abuse jury hung on most charges
Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center June 19, 2012, in Philadelphia. / AP Photo
(AP) PHILADELPHIA - A jury deliberating a sex abuse trial involving a high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been ordered to deliberate further to overcome a stalemate on four of the five charges.
Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told jurors she might let them rehear portions of testimony from the two accusers if it would help them reach consensus.
That suggestion from the judge led lawyer William Brennan to move for a mistrial on behalf of his client, the Rev. James Brennan. The judge denied his motion. The jury had earlier asked to rehear that testimony but was turned down.
The jury has been deliberating over 12 days, starting June 1. The trial started in late March.
Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official ever charged with crimes for his handling of clergy-abuse complaints.
Lynn, 61, is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly helping the Roman Catholic church cover up abuse complaints. Lynn served as secretary for clergy in the Philadelphia archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. He faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted.
Brennan, 48, is charged with attempted rape and child endangerment for his alleged abuse of a 14-year-old boy during an overnight at the priest's apartment in 1996.
Another priest, the Rev. Edward Avery, pleaded guilty to sexual assault before trial and is in prison. Lynn is charged with endangering his victim and Brennan's accuser.
Sarmina acknowledged it could take days to rehear the testimony from those two young men, but she said that might be better than the alternative.
She reminded jurors that the case may have to be retried if they cannot reach verdicts.
The jury note suggested the split was 10-2 on one charge, but it was unclear what the vote was on other counts.
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