Priest admits watching porn and sharing bed with teenage boy… but denies inappropriate touching

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137648/Reverend-James-Brennan-Man-tells-clerical-abuse-trial-Philadelphia-priest-watch-porn-shared-bed.html

  • Reverend James Brennan, 48, charged with attempted rape at clerical abuse trial in Philadelphia
  • Brennan denies charges – and remains working as a priest
  • Senior clergyman charged with endangering children by keeping allegations a secret

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 21:21 EST, 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:33 EST, 30 April 2012

A priest, charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy, has said that although he let the teenager share his bed and view pornography, he had never touched him.

The accuser, who is now 30, testified today that he was 14 when Reverend James Brennan, 48, sexually abused him at his apartment.

Reverend James Brennan, 48, was one of several priests involved in the clergy abuse trial which has scandalised the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Allegations: Reverend James Brennan, 48, has been accused of abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1996 at his home in Westchester, PhiladelphiaAllegations: Reverend James Brennan, 48, has been accused of abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1996 at his home in Westchester, Philadelphia

The alleged victim, who has not been identified, said he was abused at Brennan’s home in Westchester in 1996 while the priest was on voluntary leave.

Brennan met the accuser in 1990 when he worked at a parish in Newtown, Bucks County. He worked at Cardinal O’Hara High School from 1991 until 1996.

Brennan has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, which include attempted rape. He has remained a priest throughout the abuse scandal.

Brennan’s lawyer raised questions today about his client’s accuser.

During a 2008 church trial on the sex assault charges, the accuser dropped an allegation that Brennan had abused him years later when he was doing court-ordered community service, according to testimony.

Monsignor Kevin Quirk, a canon lawyer who presided at the church trial, read Brennan’s 2008 testimony aloud.

Brennan had admitted showing the boy pornography and sharing a bed but denied any sexual contact. Shamed: Monsignor Lynn, seen outside the Criminal Justice Centre in Philadelphia last month, has been charged with child endangerment

Shamed: Monsignor Lynn, seen outside the Criminal Justice Centre in Philadelphia last month, has been charged with child endangerment

On cross-examination, a defense lawyer asked why Quirk never questioned Brennan about another accusation of an assault in a garden shed.

Quirk said: ‘The accuser … had withdrawn that portion of the accusation.’

Another 47-year-old alleged victim broke down today when he recalled telling his mother in 1998 about being abused by defrocked priest David Sicoli in the late 1970s.

Sicoli molested him at his home in Sea Isle, New Jersey, in the priest’s sports car and on other occasions, the man testified.

The unidentified man told the court: ‘It always felt wrong. A man should not touch a child.’

Like other accusers who have testified, the boy worked at the rectory, and his mother had hopes of him becoming a priest.

A 2005 grand jury report alleged that Sicoli abused at least a dozen boys and said the archdiocese had suspicions about the priest before he was sent to Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Landmark case: This courtroom sketch shows the Rev. James J. Brennan, second left, and Monsignor William Lynn, third left at as Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Coelho, standing right, speaks to the jury earlier this monthLandmark case: This courtroom sketch shows the Rev. James J. Brennan, second left, and Monsignor William Lynn, third left at as Assistant District Attorney Jacqueline Coelho, standing right, speaks to the jury earlier this month

Monsignor William Lynn, 61, has been charged with endangering children by keeping accused priests in their roles – after reviewing abuse complaints kept in secret archives when he served as secretary for the clergy from 1992 to 2004.

Lynn was the first Roman Catholic church official to be charged in the U.S. for his handling of priest abuse complaints. His lawyers have argued that Lynn took orders from the cardinal.

The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua noted in a file that Brennan sought leave in 1996 to deal with his own childhood sexual abuse. Brennan later denied having said that.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137648/Reverend-James-Brennan-Man-tells-clerical-abuse-trial-Philadelphia-priest-watch-porn-shared-bed.html#ixzz1tQlRe8ZG

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Posted on May 1, 2012, in Religion / Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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