Catholic Abuse Case Going to Jury in Philadelphia : NPR
In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.
Journalist Ralph Cipriano has listened through every day of testimony, posting the events for the blog Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial. For most of the 10-week trial, he says, prosecutors put on a powerful case that Lynn, who was in charge of investigating sex abuse claims from 1992 to 2004, protected the priests and the church — not the children.
“A month ago, there was a sense the prosecution was way ahead,” he says, “that the evidence was so stacked against the Monsignor, that all the prosecution had to do is play it safe.”
Then Lynn went on the stand and argued that he did everything within his power to protect children.
“Now there’s a sense that the defense is picking up steam and the prosecution is clearly losing steam,” Cipriano says.
Others say that won’t last long.
“The evidence was gathered over a decade,” says Marci Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo Law School who has represented abuse victims. “It is a mountain of evidence.”
After reviewing two grand jury reports, nearly 2,000 documents and the testimony of 50 witnesses — including alleged victims who wept on the stand — Hamilton believes the jurors can come to only one conclusion.