PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia prosecutors announced plans Monday to retry an ousted priest on an attempted rape charge after a jury deadlocked on the case last month.
The Rev. James Brennan, 49, is accused of trying to rape a 14-year-old boy in 1996 at the priest's apartment.
Brennan has admitted in a church trial that he wrestled with the boy, slept with him and let him watch porn, according to trial testimony. But he denies molesting him.
"I feel horrible that all of this has to get ripped open all over again. It's like a wound that just started to heal," Brennan said outside the courthouse Monday. "Not just for me, but more importantly, … my family and friends."
The retrial isn't expected until early next year because of scheduling issues, and may go before a different judge. Brennan returns to court Aug. 14 for a scheduling hearing.
"James Brennan used his position as a priest to prey upon and victimize this young man," District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement. "It is extremely important that Brennan be held accountable for his crime, not just for his victim but for all victims of sexual abuse."
The Brennan charges were only a fraction of the broader case against Lynn, the first U.S. Catholic church official convicted for his handling of abuse claims.
Lynn, 61, faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday for felony child endangerment. Defense lawyers have asked Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for probation or house arrest, but she has taken a tough stand toward him already, revoking bail and sending him to prison immediately after the June 22 verdict.
Brennan's lawyer believes that 11 of 12 jurors voted to acquit his client, based on one juror's recent online posts. The deliberations had stretched on for weeks.
"When it's 11-1 to acquit, and there's an acquittal on another charge, it puzzles me that the Commonwealth thinks there's a need to go forward," said lawyer William Brennan, who is not related to his client. "(But) we're ready to go."
His client was acquitted of conspiring with Lynn to endanger children, while the jury also deadlocked on a separate count of felony child endangerment.
The lawyer does not plan to change his trial strategy, which chiefly attacked the credibility of the accuser, a young man with a history of drug and criminal problems.
He reported in 2006 that the Rev. Brennan, a close family friend and his mother's drinking buddy, had sexually assaulted him a decade earlier. James Brennan, questioning his religious calling, had been on leave from the church.
Prosecutors initially charged him with rape, but reduced the charge to attempted rape before trial, a decision they have yet to explain.
William Brennan challenged the troubled accuser during a combative cross-examination. The young man's record includes lying to police.
"That's his M.O. He's a serial confabulator. He makes up stories," the lawyer said Monday.
James Brennan took a second leave from the archdiocese in 2000 to spend time at an abbey, after sharing with the church a diary entry that said: "Deep within me is the primordial struggle being lived out in a tormented state of unbridled passion."
He came back seven months later, and was assigned to a Feasterville parish from 2001 to 2006, the year his accuser came forward.
The archdiocese restricted his ministry and initiated a canonical investigation and trial. His status as a priest is still pending at the Vatican.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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