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Philadelphia monsignor, priests to be tried together

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A monsignor who is the only US church official ever charged with transferring pedophile priests to unsuspecting parishes will be tried alongside three priests and a lay teacher accused of rape, a judge ruled yesterday.

Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom denied most pretrial requests made by Monsignor William Lynn, two current priests, a former priest, and a former Catholic school teacher. The men wanted their cases tried separately and asked for many of the charges against them to be dismissed.

Lynn, 60, is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for allegedly transferring priests he believed to be pedophiles. Lynn, who served as secretary of clergy from 1992 to 2004 under former Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, is the only US church official ever charged for his administrative actions in the sex-abuse scandal.

The four others are charged in the same criminal case with raping boys in their care. Three of them are accused of raping the same child, starting when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999, according to a scathing grand jury report released in February that blamed the church for knowingly harboring priests who abused children.

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