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Judge Says Bevilacqua Can Be Called To Testify In Priest Child-Sex Case

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The judge in an alleged clergy abuse case (see related story) has again rejected a defense motion to prohibit the testimony of retired Philadelphia cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua on competency grounds, even though the defense contends that Bevilacqua can’t accurately remember many of his own actions during the last two decades.

The judge ordered Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s testimony preserved — videotaped — in late November after finding the cardinal competent despite suffering from dementia and cancer (see previous story).

But after hearing his testimony, defense attorneys for defendant Msgr. William Lynn renewed the competency issue, arguing that Belivacqua couldn’t even identify Msgr. Lynn — his Secretary for Clergy for over a decade — or remember his own previous testimony.

The defense argues that it would have no hope of fully cross-examining the cardinal about his actions or his earlier grand jury testimony.

But the prosecution is arguing that it’s for the jury to evaluate — to accept or disregard the cardinal’s testimony now.  And the judge has ruled that Bevilacqua can testify — that either side can call him or use his recorded testimony from November.

The judge says she will rule within a week on the admissibility of so-called “prior bad acts” evidence presented during three days of hearings last week.

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  • Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Dead At 88 « CBS Philly

    […] Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Bevilacqua was competent and his recent deposition testimony can be used at an upcoming priest abuse trial. (see related story) […]

  • DPierre

    The media is doing the public a tremendous disservice in this case.

    What they are not telling you is that these trials essentially rest on the testimony of two men.

    The first – Mark Bukowski, the accuser of Fr. James Brennan – has a lengthy criminal history of fraud, theft, and forgery. He’s also been busted before by police for making up stories, including the tale of a violent home robbery that never even took place.

    The second accuser (“Billy” in last year’s grand jury report) is an admitted heroin user who has claimed that THREE different men raped and molested him. He has no contemporaneous corroboration, and if you read his wild accusations, it simply does not make any sense at all that no one saw anything at the time these alleged events happened. Even the archdiocesan review board – stacked with child welfare advocates and a group that removed several priests for abuse – didn’t buy his flimsy stories.

    This episode in Philadelphia could very well become the McMARTIN EPISODE of the entire Catholic abuse narrative. (Never heard of the McMartin trial? Look it up.)

  • Molly

    Crazy as a fox. He knows too much to have to sit on the stand. Much easier to plead incompetence.

  • Judy Block-Jones

    Thankfully for victims and for the protection of our kids, church officials are NOT getting away with their corruption and lies anymore.

    This gives those who have been harmed so horrific, a bit of hope and validation.

    Thank you Judge Teresa Sarmina.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.

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