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Judge: 1 trial for ex-church official, 2 priests

Judge: 1 trial for 2 priests charged with rape, ex-church official charged with endangerment By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ' A priest charged with raping a teen while on leave from the Philadelphia archdiocese will go on trial next month in a church conspiracy case, despite defense objections.

A judge refuses to give the Rev. James Brennan a separate trial. Brennan wants a short trial involving a single accuser.

Instead, he will be at the defense table for months while prosecutors build a conspiracy and child-endangerment case against Monsignor William Lynn. Prosecutors are expected to bring in sex-abuse complaints lodged against two dozen priests to show Lynn kept them in ministry.

Brennan's lawyer insists the larger case will sink his client. But a Philadelphia judge refused his severance motion Thursday.

Jury selection is under way, and could take weeks.

Co-defendant Edward Avery, a defrocked priest, is also charged with rape.

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Related Keywords:Priest Abuse-Charges,Legal proceedings,Law and order,General news,Violent crime,Crime,Religious issues,Religion,Social affairs,Social issues


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