Less than a week since a hung jury let him go free in the priest child sex abuse case, Father James Brennan is speaking out and telling his story to NBC10.
Brennan faced more than 20 years in prison after prosecutors charged and tried him for the attempted rape of a 13-year-old boy.
Last Friday however, a hung jury left Brennan walking out of court a free man. Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty of endangering the welfare of the child and faces up to seven years in prison.
Brennan described how he reacted when he heard the verdict.
“I sat down at the table,” said Brennan. “That was the first time I cried.”
The verdict was far from an acquittal however and has done much to tarnish his reputation.
“I don’t think that will ever go away,” said Brennan. “I would like to have it go away but I don’t think it will ever go away.”
Brennan says he is taking the steps to put his life back together.
“I still have to take each day as it comes with the challenges of each day not knowing what those challenges are going to be,” said Brennan.
Brennan must also live with the public opinion of some who believe he’s without a doubt guilty as charged.
“You really have to step away from the concern about public opinion,” said Brennan. “It’ll eat you up.”
Brennan and his attorney Bill Brennan, no relation, do have to worry about the Philadelphia District Attorney who could retry the case.
“I see absolutely no reason to think that another jury could do any better job than this jury,” said Bill Brennan. “So hopefully this is over.”
While speaking to NBC10, Brennan never expressed anger about the allegations or those who believe he’s guilty.
“I worry about the opinion of one,” said Brennan. “The one I have to answer to when there’s no one else to answer to on the last day.”
NBC10 also spoke to members of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). They say they are urging the D.A. to retry Brennan. The D.A.’s office has not made a decision yet however.