By Tony Hanson and Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After fiery arguments over the admissibility of evidence sought by the jury in the clergy sexual abuse case, the judge allowed an alleged victim’s statement to church authorities to be read to the jury in its entirety. The jury heard excerpts of the statement during trial, but not the whole thing.
Over angry objections by defense attorney William J. Brennan, the judge allowed the court stenographer to read the whole statement of a man who says he was sexually abused by defendant James Brennan, and most of it was new evidence for the jury in its seventh day of deliberations.
The alleged victim testified during the trial, but now, the jury has heard a full second account by the alleged victim to church officials during a so-called canonical trial in 2008. Both sides could argue aspects of the testimony support their positions.
Brennan has pleaded not guilty, and the defense has challenged the accuser’s credibility, suggesting he is out for a payday.