Lawyers for Philly priests lay out defense before rape trial

    Lawyers for two priests accused of raping boys in the mid-1990s plan to attack the victims’ motives when the landmark trial starts next week.

    Defense lawyers revealed their strategy at a pretrial hearing Monday.

    Defense lawyer Bill Brennan represents Fr. James Brennan, who is no relation.

     

    He’ll tell jurors that Fr. Brennan’s accuser sought the priest out as an adult when he needed to do court-ordered community service.

    Defrocked priest Edward Avery’s accuser was expelled from an archdiocesan high school at age 14 and began a long battle with drug addiction.

    His lawyer will argue that the accuser hoped to get money from the church, and to get revenge for the expulsion.

    Co-defendant Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping accused priests in ministry.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.