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Jurors deadlocked in 4 of 5 charges in sexual assault cases.
Jurors must continue deliberations after declaring a deadlock in all but one charge related to abuse allegations against two Catholic priests in Philadelphia, a judge ruled today.
After the jury passed Judge M. Teresa Sarmina a note saying it was “at a hung jury situation,” she told them to continue deliberating, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The case involves Msgr. William Lynn and the Rev. James Brennan.
Lynn faces conspiracy and child endangerment charges, while Brennan is accused of attempted rape and endangerment.
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A third priest, Edward Avery, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy.
Lynn, a 61-year-old monsignor, is the highest-ranking Roman Catholic clergyman to face charges in the US.
The charges stem from his role supervising 800 priests from 1992 to 2004; he faces 21 years in prison.
Lynn is accused of shuffling priests to different churches in an attempt to hide sexual abuse allegations, Reuters reported.
He made a list of 35 priests facing allegations in 1994, and tried to cover up the scandal to avoid embarrassment for the archdiocese, prosecutors said.
In his defense, Lynn said he could only make recommendations to the now-deceased Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.
With 1.5 million members, Philadelphia is the sixth-largest archdiocese in the US.
The seven-man, five-woman jury is deadlocked on four of five charges against the men.
Deliberations began on June 1 after 10 weeks of testimony.
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