Private Eye Says He Verified Philadelphia Priest’s Child Abuse at Start of Scandal
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the Philadelphia clergy abuse case heard today from a private investigator hired by the Philadelphia Archdiocese, who testified to finding credible allegations that one of the defendants had sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 1996.
Former FBI agent John Rossiter told the jury that Father James Brennan denied the allegations even while admitting there was sex talk, that he had slept in the same bed with the teen, and conceded there could have been unintentional contact while the two slept in the priest’s apartment during an overnight visit.
Rossiter also says Brennan admitted that he had allowed the boy to look at pornography on the Internet — and that they watched it together — after the boy threatened to break the computer if he couldn’t look at porn.
In hindsight, Brennan said, he shouldn’t have done that.
But Rossiter says Brennan, in the interview years afterward, also suggested a motivation by the boy and/or his parents for the allegations. Brennan said the boy was troubled and the parents were in financial trouble and, he believed, dissatisfied with his efforts when they sought help.