Philadelphia priest-abuse jury asks key questions

June 4, 2012 9:58:07 AM PDT
A Philadelphia jury weighing a groundbreaking priest-abuse case has divided lawyers with questions on a conspiracy charge.

Monsignor William Lynn is a former official at the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia. He is the first U.S. church official charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly mishandling abuse complaints.

Jurors have asked if Lynn had to conspire with both a convicted priest and other church officials, or just one party, to be convicted of conspiracy.

Defense lawyers say the answer is both. Prosecutors say one finding is enough to convict. The judge is weighing the arguments.

Meanwhile, the jury has asked for clarity on the attempted rape charge lodged against the Rev. James Brennan, Lynn's co-defendant.

Jurors have been deliberating since Friday afternoon, following a 10-week trial.