U.S. investigation of priest sex abuse produces first charges | TribLIVE.com
Pennsylvania

U.S. investigation of priest sex abuse produces first charges

Associated Press
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AP
A photo of Rev. Robert Brennan (right) is displayed Nov. 13, 2013, during a news conference in Philadelphia, where attorneys for the family of Sean McIlmail, an alleged priest-abuse victim, announced a wrongful death lawsuit against Roman Catholic church officials.

PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia have charged a former Roman Catholic priest with lying to the FBI about whether he knew an accuser and his family.

The charges against 81-year-old Robert Brennan are the first from a sweeping Justice Department investigation into child sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania.

Authorities say Brennan was arrested in Maryland and is expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia.

The indictment says Brennan told FBI agents in April that he did not know accuser Sean McIlmail from his years at a northeast Philadelphia parish from 1993 to 2004.

Brennan had been indicted on related state sexual assault charges in 2013, but the case was dropped when McIlmail died of a drug overdose before trial.

His family has settled a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for an undisclosed sum.

A former lawyer for Brennan did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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