By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Twelve jurors have now been selected to hear an historic case, allegations of child abuse by priests and a cover-up by a church official, Monsignor William Lynn.
Although 12 jurors have been selected, the attorneys must still pick 10 alternates because of the expected length of the trial, about three to four months. And opening statements are not scheduled to begin until late March. The court left a large window between jury selection and the taking of evidence in this high-profile, highly charged case.
In this case, two priests are charged with rape, and Monsignor William Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing these and other alleged predator priests to remain in ministry with access to additional victims. The defendants have pleaded NOT guilty.
The defense for the priests is challenging the credibility of the alleged victims, while Monsignor Lynn’s attorney have argued the evidence shows he did what he could to stop predator priests and he was not part of a conspiracy within the Philadelphia archdiocese.