Jury Decision In Philadelphia Child Sex Abuse Case
By Tony Hanson, Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia jury deciding the fates of two priests in the child sex abuse case was preparing to announce its decision this afternoon. But a verdict on most of the charges was unlikely.
The announcement was expected shortly after 2pm, according to court officials.
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).
The judge had ordered the jury to keep trying and they worked without asking for any further assistance, including additional legal instructions or testimony readbacks, offered by the court.
Earlier today, the judge held a hearing on continuing the gag order if the jury is unable to break the deadlock. There would almost certainly be a retrial, so the concern of the court would be pre-trial publicity.
The DA wanted clarification on what, if anything, he could say without violating the gag order. The judge suggested that DA Seth Williams submit his planned comments to the court for approval. The DA has now scheduled a 3:30 p.m. news conference to discuss the trial.
An attorney for the Inquirer argued the gag order should be lifted no matter what the result, in the public interest.