Jury deadlocked in landmark Catholic sex abuse trial

Monsignor William Lynn  is the first American church official to be charged with covering up complaints of clergy child rape. 

By , Associated Press

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    Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, in Philadelphia. Lynn is the first Roman Catholic church official in the US ever charged with child endangerment, for allegedly keeping co-defendants former priest Edward V. Avery and the Rev. James J. Brennan, and other accused predators, in ministry.
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The jury in a landmark U.S. clergy abuse trial says it is hung on four of the five charges, and the judge has sent the jurors back to deliberate further.

It was not clear Wednesday which charges were at issue.

Prosecutors say Monsignor William Lynn conspired to endanger children by taking part in an alleged cover-up at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He is the first U.S. church official ever charged with crimes for his handling of clergy abuse complaints.

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Lynn served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004. He's charged with three counts and faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted.

The Rev. James Brennan is charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy during an overnight at the priest's apartment. He's charged with two counts.

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 led lawyer William Brennan to move for a mistrial on behalf of his client, Brennan. The judge denied his motion. The jury had earlier asked to rehear that testimony but was turned down.

The jury has been deliberating since June 1.

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.

The judge reminded jurors that the case may have to be retried if they cannot reach verdicts.

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