Closing Arguments Underway In Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Closing arguments got underway on Thursday in the landmark clergy sexual abuse case with Monsignor William Lynn charged with endangering children by allowing dangerous priests to remain in ministry.
Defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom told jurors like the play and movie ’12 Angry Men’, this case was about reasonable doubt. He said it comes down to the power and authority that lead defendant Monsignor William Lynn had to remove priests who abused children.
Bergstrom told jurors prosecutors want them to convict Lynn for documenting the abuse.
The defense says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had the final say on priest’s placements.
During the three days that Lynn was on the stand, Bergstrom said he counted how many times Assistant DA Patrick Blessington accused Lynn of lying but he stopped at 14.
The prosecution alleges Lynn failed to act to protect children from two dangerous priests, co-defendant James Brennan, who pleaded not guilty and another Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty just before the trial started.