Accused Priest Speaks Out About Facing Retrial - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Accused Priest Speaks Out About Facing Retrial

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Father James Brennan says he steels himself for his coming retrial for attempted rape by remembering a promise that he made when he became a priest, "to follow the example of Jesus."

In June, a Philadelphia jury deadlocked on that charge and a child-endangerment count.

On Monday, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said, "We want to hold James Brennan accountable for what he did. The only way for us to do that, through our system of justice, is with a trial. So we're going to try him again."

Brennan is accused of trying to rape a 14-year-old boy back in 1996. He was tried alongside Monsignor William Lynn, who became the highest-ranking Catholic church official convicted of a crime when he was found guilty of child endangerment.

Lynn is to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Williams said his office will ask for the maximum sentence of seven years.

Brennan's attorney battered his accuser in the first trial.

Defense Attorney William Brennan, when asked if he would take the same brickbat to the alleged victim, said "only if there's not two available."

Brennan added, "I am disappointed and I will defend as zealously, if not more so, the second time around."

Father James Brennan said his faith and friends got him through the first trial. He claimed the attempted rape charge is "completely unfounded, as far as I am concerned." His attorney expects the new trail will take place next year.

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