Philly Judge Weighs Church Sex Abuse Evidence

Published January 24, 2012 2:09PM (EST)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia judge could decide Tuesday if prosecutors can tell a jury that the Catholic Church long ignored sex abuse complaints and fed dangerous priests a steady supply of children.

Prosecutors want to use dozens of old allegations at the upcoming March trial of a church official charged with child endangerment and two priests charged with rape.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official to face trial for his handling of sex abuse complaints.

Prosecutors at a pretrial hearing this week called the archdiocese "an unindicted co-conspirator."

Lynn served as secretary of clergy from 1992 to 2004 under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah). A grand jury last year blasted the retired cardinal's actions but never charged him.

Defense lawyers say Lynn is being made a scapegoat for the scandal.

By Salon Staff

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