Trial underway in priest sex abuse case

Monsignor William Lynn (left) and Rev. James Brennan

Opening arguments began this morning in the landmark priest sex-abuse trial for two former Philadelphia officials after a brief delay.

Rev. James Brennan is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1996, while Monsignor William Lynn is accused of endangering children by moving around alleged predator priests. Both pleaded not guilty.

The high-profile case took another twist last Thursday when one of the defrocked priests accused pleaded guilty to charges related to a sexual assault on one boy.

Before arguments began this morning, Common Pleas Court Judge Teresa Sarmina denied a request for delay from defense attorneys after ruling the jury would not be tainted by Edward Avery’s plea.

Prosecutors plan to show that the abuse was well-documented, and that Lynn, who was secretary of the clergy, transferred the priests to other parishes without divulging their past acts. Lynn is the first U.S. official in the Roman Catholic Church to be charged with endangering the welfare of children by covering for alleged predator priests, according to the Associated Press.

Defense attorneys for Lynn and Brennan are expected to attack the credibility of the witnesses and alleged victims.

The trial will be closely followed by Catholic church officials, parishioners and abuse survivor groups like SNAP. Security outside the courtroom this morning was increased, with additional uniformed officers and metal detectors.

There is also a gag order in the case, meaning prosecutors and attorneys are not allowed to comment to the media. The judge has also prohibited electronic devices in the courtroom, including for members of the media.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…