Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jury begins deliberations in landmark Philadelphia priest sex-abuse trial

Jury begins deliberations in landmark Philadelphia priest sex-abuse trial     
By Joseph A. Slobodzian and John P. Martin INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Sat, Jun. 2, 2012

Jurors on Friday began deliberating charges in the landmark conspiracy and sex-abuse trial involving Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

The seven men and five women got the case around noon, after more than an hour of instructions from Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. She excused six alternate jurors but cautioned two that they could be recalled during deliberations.

With the courtroom doors locked, Sarmina explained for the panel the law and the charges against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan. Jurors will be asked to sift through almost 11 weeks of evidence, including nearly 2,000 records, many of which documented decades of abuse by priests....

Prosecutors have argued that Lynn moved accused priests around to different parishes, enabling them to prey upon other children. Lynn, who testified in his own defense, denied the allegations and said his actions were limited by his official role; he said only Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua had the power to remove or transfer priests.

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