Judge reaffirms ruling in pedophile case

Jan. 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The judge in a trial involving priests accused of sexual abuse Monday reaffirmed her ruling a former Archdiocese of Philadelphia leader is competent to testify.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom, "I'll adhere to my original ruling" in the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former church official accused of enabling pedophile priests, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The defense has claimed 88-year-old Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, formerly the head of the Archdiocese, is senile and unable to remember anything about the past two decades.

Lynn and three other priests are on trial.

The judge did not specify whether Bevilacqua's testimony would be in the courtroom, or whether the replay of a video transcript of questioning, made in November at his residence, would be sufficient.

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