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Philadelphia Priest Sex Abuse Trial Moves To Defense Phase

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The prosecution has rested in the landmark clergy abuse case that has rocked the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

After eight weeks of often stunning and sad testimony and thousands of pages of documents, the prosecution has completed its case against Monsignor William Lynn and Father James Brennan.

The prosecution alleges that Lynn endangered children by allowing alleged predator priests, including co-defendant Brennan, to remain in ministry.

But much of the case against Lynn — a kind of background evidence to give the jury a fuller picture — also implicated local church officials to the highest levels in protecting even admitted predator priests, even allegedly destroying documents as part of a coverup.

The defense for Lynn contends that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was in charge of priest placements.  The defense for Brennan argues the allegations just aren’t true, that he did not assault the victim who testified in this case.

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