Priest Sex Abuse Scandal
As the trial of a Philadelphia monsignor and a priest accused of child sex abuse and coverups moves forward, a second man testified today he was part of a rotation of boys repeatedly abused by a local priest in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Testimony and argument in the clergy abuse case allegedly link bishop Michael Bransfield, of the Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia diocese, to an alleged predator priest and child abuse in the early 1980’s.
The witness, who later became a priest himself, says he confronted his abuser years later and also informed church officials, but the man was not prosecuted.
It has become apparent that priests suspected of preying on children were shuffled, for decades, from one parish to another in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The accuser, now 30 years old, says that when he was 14 and after Father James Brennan became a familiar figure in their home, the family arranged for an overnight visit to Brennan’s home, where he was molested.
A man who claims he was sexually assaulted by defendant Father James Brennan in 1996 was scheduled to testify on Wednesday.
The prosecution in the Philadelphia clergy child abuse case continues to focus in on the heart of its case — alleged lies and coverups — as it presented evidence of another priest allowed to remain in ministry even after allegations of sexual predation.
The prosecution in the clergy abuse case alleges defendant Monsignor William Lynn, charged with endangering children by allowing alleged and admitted predator priests to remain in ministry, is guilty of a pattern of conduct that dates back decades in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
The defense has presented evidence through cross-examination that Msgr. William Lynn acted within days of learning of a letter from a priest to a boy, soliciting sex.
The evidence focused on Edward Avery, a defrocked priest who pleaded guilty last week.
A trial has begun in the unprecedented case of a Philadelphia priest charged with raping a boy and a monsignor charged with endangering children as part of a coverup.
One day after Edward Avery pleaded guilty, the attorneys for two co-defendants have asked for a new jury panel because, they argue, this one was tainted by the latest developments.
While the unprecedented clergy abuse trial of former Monsignor William Lynn and two priests is set to begin Monday, the latest pre-trial hearing in the case makes clear the defendants won’t be the only ones on trial.
A Philadelphia judge has ruled that evidence of alleged “prior bad acts” can be admitted in the upcoming child sex abuse trial of three Catholic clergymen.
There is now a gag order imposed on all parties in the case, so neither the prosecution nor defense can make statements in reaction to Bevilacqua’s death.