Eighth day of deliberations end with more questions from jury in clergy-sex abuse trial
Jurors at the clergy-sex abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests ended their eighth day of deliberations Thursday with a new set of questions that suggested they may be shifting their focus from one defendant to the other.
Convening for the first time since Tuesday, the panel of seven men and five women asked to see evidence related to the landmark child-endangerment and conspiracy case against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the archdiocese’s former secretary for clergy.
Specifically, jurors asked for files of the Rev. Thomas Wisniewski, a priest who remained in ministry after admitting to Lynn that he had a sexual relationship with a teenage boy in the 1980s.
The panel also asked Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for still more guidance on the conduct and intent required for conspiracy and child endangerment.
“This is about the third or fourth time that they’ve asked this in various degrees,” said Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington. “Someone — or a group of someones — is hung up on this.”
The jurors have spent more than 30 hours behind closed doors since deliberations began June 1, and peppered the judge and lawyers with 25 questions and evidence requests. [More]