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EXCLUSIVE: Eyewitness News Speaks With Family Of Alleged Sex Abuse Victim About His Legacy

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By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Nearly two weeks ago, the main accuser against Father Robert Brennan died from an apparent overdose.  His family gives CBS 3 Eyewitness an exclusive into the life of Sean, just hours before District Attorney Seth Williams announced charges are dropped against Robert Brennan.

Sean’s family would describe him as shy and quiet, “He was a quiet.  He was very shy.  I never realized that he always felt shy.  He had paranoid thoughts.  He felt scared a lot of times.  He had lots of friends.  You would look at him and think you could sum him up, but he was much more complicated.”

The alleged abuse began when Sean was an altar boy at Resurrection Church in Northeast Philadelphia.  However, the McIlmail family did not know about the abuse until last year.

Allegations against Father Brennan were made; however, Sean was the only person within the statute of limitations.  According to his family, he wanted to be the voice against the abuse he faced as a child.  His mother Debbie explained that her son came forward because he did not want the same abuse to happen to his nephews “He wanted to do it for his nephew.”

Recently, Sean was becoming healthier and felt better about pursuing the case against Brennan. Sean’s brother Michael commented, “Over the last year, I think his therapy helped him.  I feel as though he was relieved.  I think he would have allowed people to know about the molestation and in the process of letting people in.”

Sean’s mother said he was an easy target because Sean was vulnerable.  The McIlmail family had always been involved in the Catholic Church and Sean saw priest being family friends, “He felt like we trusted and respected the priests.  He grew up in a family of religion and of respecting the collar and trusting the people who wore the collar.  He thought they were all friends.  As a mother, I always had an instinct about (Father Brennan).  I never trusted the man.”

Although the charges against Father Brennan have been dropped, Sean’s family hopes that another victim will come forward.