Clergy members, teacher named in grand jury report return to court

    Update: Lizz Fiedler has returned from court and tells us all five — three priests, a parochial teacher and clergy member William Lynn — will be tried together. Lynn’s lawyer has argued for a separate trial on the grounds that the accusations against him (covering up abuse) differ from the rape and abuse charges against Bernard Shero and Frs. Edward Avery, Charles Engelhardt and James Brennan.

    Associated Press report: A court hearing Friday in Philadelphia could determine if criminal charges will stick in the indictment of a Roman Catholic church official charged with conspiracy and child-endangerment for his handling of priest transfers.

    Sixty-year-old Monsignor William Lynn is the only U.S. church official ever charged in the sex-abuse scandal for allegedly transferring predator priests to unsuspecting parishes, endangering yet more children.

    Lynn’s attorneys say that he had no children in his care, so he can’t be charged with endangering them.

    Four others — two priests, an ex-priest and a former teacher — are charged in the same case with raping boys. Like Lynn, they have rejected a recent plea offer that would have sent them to prison for 7 1/2 to 15 years.

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