Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The jury in the clergy abuse case hears emotional testimony from two more alleged victims, men who say they were abused by a priest in the early 1980’s.
The prosecution continues to try to show an alleged pattern of conduct of protecting alleged predator priests by church officials and specifically in this case, defendant Monsignor William Lynn.
The two witnesses, who struggled through their testimony (one broke down and sobbed when he recounted telling his mother about the abuse in 1998), have testified they were sexually assaulted by Father David Sicoli.
Both witnesses made it clear his position aided the abuse, saying, ‘priests aren’t supposed to do wrong, priests walked on water.’
During one incident, one victim says he played dead to make the abuse stop. And, Sicoli scolded him.
Another time, he says he physically watched his soul rise out of his body and it was saying ‘run’, but he couldn’t.
Finally, he told the jury that Father Sicoli was planning to take him to Disney World, talking like it would be their honeymoon. According to the witness, he was reluctant. Finally, he decided at the last minute he wouldn’t go. His father made the phone call. Sicoli was livid, but the boy’s father told Sicoli, ‘he’s no longer your girlfriend’ and hung up.
And, although there’s been evidence the Archdiocese knew of the suspected abuse, and had the names of suspected victims — perhaps even as the alleged abuse was occurring — neither man was contacted by the Archdiocese, including defendant Monsignor William Lynn, for more than two decades. That’s when a grand jury was investigating.
Monsignor Lynn, former secretary for clergy, is charged with endangering two other men by failing to act on available information. Monsignor Lynn has pleaded not guilty and the defense has told the jury he was not in charge of priest placements.
Father David Sicoli was never charged. He was laicized in 2008.