Prosecutors to retry Rev. James Brennan

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The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced today it will retry Rev. James Brennan for the attempted sex assault of a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

A mistrial was declared last month in the case against Brennan after a jury deadlocked on two charges against him. Brennan’s co-defendant Monsignor William Lynn was convicted on one of three counts.

Brennan’s attorney argued that the testimony of his client’s accuser was not credible because of his criminal history, which included lying to authorities.

In making the decision to retry Brennan, District Attorney Seth William said the priest should be held accountable.

“James Brennan used his position as a priest to prey upon and victimize this young man. 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 Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, released a statement applauding the decision.

“We are grateful to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office for moving ahead with this retrial and not letting Fr. James Brennan to escape justice. It is very rare that victims of clergy sex abuse are able to see their abuser tried in a criminal trial, so we are very glad that Mr. Williams is still seeking justice for his victims.”

Brennan is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 14 for a status hearing.


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