A priest in the clergy-sex-abuse trial admitted to viewing pornography and sharing a bed with a teenager, according to a judge in an internal Catholic church trial involving Rev. James Brennan.
Monsignor Kevin Quirk, of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese in West Virginia, served as the presiding judge in Brennan's canonical trial in 2008. Quirk read Brennan's testimony from the canonical trial to the courtroom; this was the first time the jury had heard any kind of testimony on behalf of Brennan.
The testimony centered on the allegations that Brennan sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 1996 at his West Chester town house.
In the canonical testimony, Brennan said the victim stayed over for the night, and they slept in the same bed. Quirk also read that Brennan admitted to allowing the victim to view pornographic photographs on his laptop, but denied allegations that there was any physical contact.
"I was thinking to myself, ‘what did I just do? And boy was that stupid,'" Quirk said Brennan testified in the canonical trial.
The sole accuser of Brennan retracted a second complaint that allegedly took place in a shed, while the victim was performing community service at the parish.
The outcome of Brennan's canonical trial has yet to be determined, and he currently remains a priest.
Brennan has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include attempted rape and conspiracy.
Quirk, a judicial vicar in West Virginia, works closely with Bishop Michael Bransfield. Initially it was uncertain whether Quirk would testify in this trial, but a West Virginia judge ordered him to testify, stating it was "necessary".
Earlier in the trial, two victims of Rev. Stanley Gana mentioned Bransfield, a close friend of Gana's, in their testimonies. One victim alleged that Gana told him Bransfield was having sex with a male teenager.
Bransfield released a statement denying his involvement with minors. He is not on trial and has yet to be charged with these allegations.
Monsignor William Lynn is also on trial with Brennan. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy in endangering the welfare of a child through shuffling accused priests to unwitting parishes.