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.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30