Jury deadlocks in Philly priest abuse case

June 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, June 20 (UPI) -- The judge in the child sex abuse trial of two Philadelphia priests told jurors to keep deliberating after they declared themselves deadlocked Wednesday.

The jury of seven men and five women told Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina Wednesday they were "at a hung jury situation" on four of the five charges against Monsignor William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan, but Sarmina told them to keep deliberating while she discussed the language of the charge in question with lawyers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The impasse came on the 12th day of deliberations in the child-endangerment and sex-abuse trial of the two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

The jury last week requested clarification on the conspiracy and endangerment charges against Lynn, who is accused of failing to remove two priests amid warning signs of potential abuse of minors. One of those priests is Brennan, who is charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1996. The other priest, Edward Avery, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in 1999 and was defrocked before the trial began.

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