Friday, June 22, 2012

Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn

Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges
By the CNN Wire Staff June 22, 2012

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty Friday on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.

Jurors delivered the verdict around 10 p.m. after deliberating for about 21 hours. There were convictions related to all 10 sexual abuse victims, with the three not-guilty verdicts applying to three different individuals....

During closing arguments, prosecutors described the ex-Nittany Lions defensive coordinator as a pedophile who preyed on victims using a charity he founded for troubled children, repeatedly abusing young boys in his care.

Sandusky, 68, had pleaded not guilty to the 48 charges of child sex abuse that spanned a 15-year period....

After a week of testimony, during which time witnesses graphically described sexual encounters with Sandusky that they said occurred durijng their boyhoods, jurors made their decision without ever having heard from Sandusky on the witness stand....

Eight young men testified, often in disturbingly graphic detail, of how Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches' locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.

One told jurors that Sandusky -- whom he met, like many of the accusers, through The Second Mile foundation that the ex-coach founded -- had threatened him if he told others about the abuse. Another said Sandusky warned him that he might send him home from a trip to Texas, where they'd gone to watch a Penn State bowl game.

The defense challenged the accusers' timetable, questioned the various allegations and called multiple character witness to defend Sandusky's stellar reputation in the community.

Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn

PHILADELPHIA -- A Roman Catholic church official was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy Friday in a landmark clergy-abuse trial, making him the first U.S. church official branded a felon for covering up abuse claims.

Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said.

Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua....

Lynn had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts he faced – conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment. He was convicted of only a single endangerment count, which carries a possible 3 1/2- to seven-year prison term.

The jury could not reach a verdict for Lynn's co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1999.

Despite Lynn's acquittal on the conspiracy charge, the trial exposed how deeply involved the late cardinal was in dealing with accused priests.

Bevilacqua had the final say on what to do with priests accused of abuse, transferred many of them to new parishes and dressed down anyone who complained, according to testimony. He also ordered the shredding of a 1994 list that Lynn prepared, warning that the archdiocese had three diagnosed pedophiles, a dozen confirmed predators and another 20 possible abusers in its midst.

Church lawyers turned over a surviving copy of the list days after Bevilacqua died....

With the verdict, after 13 days of deliberations, jurors concluded that prosecutors failed to show that Lynn was part of a conspiracy to move predator priests around.

The jury, however, did find that Lynn endangered the victim of defrocked priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty before trial to a 1999 sexual assault.

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