Sunday, September 27, 2009

Church court rejects Pa. ex-bishop's new trial bid

From AP-

An Episcopal Church court has rejected a defrocked Pennsylvania bishop's bid for a new church trial based on a recently discovered cache of letters related to his case.

Charles E. Bennison Jr. was removed from his post last year after a church trial in Philadelphia found he covered up his brother's sexual assaults of a teenage girl in the 1970s. Bennison's lawyers argued that more than 200 letters recently found contradict witness testimony and show the victim tried to hide the relationship, hampering any intervention by the bishop.

The church court ruled that the letters "would not have changed the outcome of the trial."
No date has been set for an appeals hearing by a panel of bishops that could reverse the decision or impose a milder sentence such as suspension or reprimand.

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