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Lawyers For Priest And Accuser Continue Verbal Jousting In Clergy Abuse Trial

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Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a second day of bickering on Thursday between a star witness in the clergy abuse trial in Philadelphia and the defense lawyer for the Reverend James Brennan.

Defense lawyer William J. Brennan ramped up his cross-examination of the witness, suggesting he was ‘coached’ to slip in the word molestation at every opportunity.

At one point, Brennan turned to the crowded courtroom, and asked ‘is your civil lawyer here?’

That referenced his civil lawsuit against Father Brennan, the other defendant, Monsignor William Lynn, two former Archbishops and the Archdiocese.

Father James Brennan’s chief accuser, now 30, a former altar boy and Marine, contends Brennan groped him in 1996, when he was 14-years-old.

Defense lawyer Brennan sarcastically asked ‘when someone asks you what time it is, do you answer molestation?’ The witness’ retort – your word of the day is ‘hostage,’ and mine is ‘molest.’

The defense lawyer’s rapid fire Q-and-A with the witness also suggested he waited nearly 10 years to report the alleged sexual assault because of financial hardship.

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