Judge keeps gag order in Philly priest-abuse case

PHILADELPHIA - October 7, 2011

It was one of several pretrial motions that Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina ruled on Friday in a criminal priest-abuse case.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first Catholic church official in the U.S. charged with endangering children through priest transfers. Three other priests and a teacher are charged with rape.

Prosecutors want to call retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to testify, but church lawyers say the former archbishop suffers from cancer and dementia. His competency hearing is Nov. 28.

Also Friday, Sarmina deferred a request from Lynn's lawyers to move the trial because of pretrial publicity. She denied their request to lift a gag order.

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