By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The person at the center of the three-month-long clergy-abuse case in Philadelphia is to be sentenced today. Prosecutors are asking that the maximum sentence be imposed on Monsignor William Lynn, who was convicted of felony child endangerment.

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office calls the Monsignor the ‘central actor’ in the scandal, while he served as the secretary for clergy under the late Cardinal Bevilacqua from 1992-2004.

The DA’s office argues ‘a maximum sentence may be the only way to impress upon the defendant that he committed a serious crime.’ Prosecutors contend ‘the protection of children trumps the reputation of abusers and the institution that harbors them.’

Lynn faces 3.5-7 years in prison.

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Defense lawyers argue a long prison term was unfair and legally flawed, because most defendants convicted of a third-degree felony have been spared state prison terms.

Lynn is the first American church official who has not actually abused children to be convicted of endangering the welfare of a child.

Meantime, prosecutors will retry his co-defendant, the Reverend James Brennan, after the same jury was deadlocked on Brennan’s portion of the priest sex-abuse case.

READ: Father James Brennan To Be Retried In Priest Sex Abuse Case

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The retrial is not expected to happen until at least next February.