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. 

Matt Rourke/AP
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.

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.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Jury deadlocked in landmark Catholic sex abuse trial
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today