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Philadelphia Jury Says It Is ‘Hung’ On Most Counts In Priest Sex Abuse Trial

By Tony Hanson, Steve Tawa, Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the Philadelphia priest sex abuse case  told the judge on the 12th day of deliberations that they are unable to reach a verdict on four of the five charges in this landmark case.

In a note to Judge Teresa Sarmina, the panel said that it has developed “firm, fixed opinions” and “entrenched positions” among its members, making it unable to return verdicts.

But the judge, after offering some additional help to the jury, told them to get some lunch and then go back to work. They resumed deliberations until about 4 p.m. when they went home for the day. They will resume deliberations on Friday after taking Thursday off.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of, while serving as Secretary of Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, failing to remove from ministry priests suspected of previous sexual or other inappropriate conduct with minors.

Father James Brennan, one of those priests, is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy (see related stories).

As soon as the jury announced that it was deadlocked, defense attorney William Brennan (no relation to the defendant) moved for a mistrial. It was just as quickly denied.

The judge met with the attorneys in the case, then told the jurors that she will offer some additional or clarifying remarks if they would find that helpful. She said she would also offer to read the jury charge again if that would be helpful.

In addition, Judge Sarmina said she would allow jurors to re-hear lengthy portions of the testimony that the jury had previously requested, but had been previously denied by the judge.

It was not revealed on which charge, or which defendant, the jurors were able to agree on a verdict.

Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 for updates on this breaking news story.

  • Philadelphia Monsignor Convicted of Endangering Child « CBS Philly

    […] A Philadelphia jury today convicted Msgr. William Lynn on one count of child endangerment.  No verdicts were returned regarding a co-defendant in the case, Father James Brennan, who was charged with attempted rape of a boy.  The jury announced that it was deadlocked on charges against Brennan and was unable to reach a verdict (see previous story). […]

  • Jury Decision In Philadelphia Child Sex Abuse Case « CBS Philly

    […] The jury did not deliberate yesterday after telling Judge Teresa Sarmina on Wednesday that they were deadlocked on four of the five counts against defendants Monsignor William Lynn and Father James Brennan, who have pleaded not guilty (see previous story). […]

  • ***BREAKING*** Philly Catholic Trial Jury 'Hung' on 4 of 5 Counts

    […] AP story – Reuters story – Philly Inquirer (w/ updates) – CBS 3 Philly – Ralph […]

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