Charges dropped against priest after alleged victim's death

Oct. 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Sex abuse charges against a former Philadelphia priest have been dismissed following his alleged victim's death, District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday.

The family of Sean McIlmail, who said the Rev. Robert Brennan molested him for four years, joined Williams for the announcement, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported. McIlmail, 26, was found dead from a drug overdose Oct. 13 in a car in Philadelphia, and Williams said the family has decided to go public with his identity and his story.

Investigators say Brennan, 75, molested a series of boys at Roman Catholic parishes in the Philadelphia area. He figured prominently in the trial of a former official with the Philadelphia archdiocese who was convicted of covering for abusive priests by transferring them to new parishes.

Most of the accusations were too old to prosecute. McIlmail came forward last year, saying Brennan molested him for four years starting when he was an 11-year-old altar boy at Resurrection of Our Lord in Northeast Philadelphia.

In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, McIlmail's family said he was eager to testify against Brennan. They urged any other men who were victimized by the priest to come forward.

McIlmail's mother, Deborah McIlmail, recalled her son had told his father Brennan "took my innocence from me before I even knew what innocence was."

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