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Jurors say they're hung up in sex-abuse trial against Catholic priests

Jurors told a Philadelphia judge Wednesday that they are hung on all but one count in the landmark sex-abuse trial against Roman Catholic priests.

NBC10's Terry Ruggles has just told us that the judge will tell jurors to go back in and continue deliberating.

After 12 days of deliberation the jury of seven men and five women -- many with ties to Catholic schools or parishes -- returned this morning saying they were deadlocked on four of the five counts. We don't know which count jurors have been able to reach a verdict on.

See the original report at Philadelphia's NBC10.com

Monsignor William Lynn is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of conspiracy. Reverend James Brennan is charged with attempted rape and endangering the welfare of a child.

Msgr. Lynn is the first Roman Catholic Church official in the United States tried over accusations of protecting predator priests.

Lynn could face about 10 to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Rev. Brennan, is accused of molesting a teen in 1996. His lawyer called the accuser, who has a lengthy criminal record, a con man seeking a payout.

Brennan, 49, did not testify, while Lynn spent three days on the witness stand saying that he did what he could to stop molestation by clergy but that he was only doing his job when he reassigned suspected clergy.

On cross-examination, Lynn acknowledged that he had not helped the 10-year-old altar boy raped by the Rev. Edward Avery in 1999, seven years after Lynn met with another Avery accuser.

“And I'm sorry about that,” Lynn said.

Avery is in prison after admitting the crime.

After closing arguments, jurors quickly asked for a half-dozen exhibits, including a gray folder found in a locked safe at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The folder contains a list of 35 suspected predator-priests -- and was compiled by Lynn in 1994. At least one priest on the list was a parish pastor until this year.

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy, testified that he created the list from secret church files containing hundreds of child sex-abuse complaints. He said he hoped Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and other superiors would address the growing crisis.

It's unclear who put the surviving copy of Lynn's list in the safe. Lynn denied doing so, or owning the safe. The gray file was found when the safe was smashed open in 2006, two years after Lynn left his archdiocese job. An in-house lawyer said he put the gray folder in his files in 2006 without realizing the list -- sought by a grand jury in 2004 -- was inside.

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A new team of outside lawyers for the archdiocese turned it over to prosecutors in early February, days after Bevilacqua died. Lynn's trial started March 26.

The jury heard from more than a dozen alleged victims, including a nun, a former priest and a series of troubled adults.

Lynn said he did more than his colleagues to help victims and advance the church's response to both accusers and the accused priests, who were often sent for evaluation or treatment before transfers to new, unsuspecting parishes. Lynn said that only Bevilacqua had the power to remove priests from ministry.

But prosecutors say Lynn could have quit or called police. Instead, he stayed in the job for 12 years -- and acknowledged he never once contacted authorities.

As deliberations continued the questions of jurors became fewer until they finally came back to the judge Wednesday saying a unanimous decision on all counts couldn't be reached.

This article includes reporting by The Associated Press.

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