Reduced bail for accused priest

A judge on Tues­day re­duced bail for a Cath­ol­ic priest ac­cused of mo­lest­ing an 11-year-old North­east al­tar boy more than a dec­ade ago.

Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Paula Patrick slashed the Rev. Robert Bren­nan’s $1 mil­lion bail to $50,000 after a brief hear­ing Tues­day morn­ing.

Patrick didn’t ac­cept As­sist­ant Pro­sec­utor Evan­gelia Manos’ as­ser­tion that the 75-year-old priest is a flight risk. Patrick did, however, or­der Bren­nan to sur­render his pass­port.

Bren­nan, who had been as­sist­ant pas­tor at Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord par­ish in Rhawn­hurst un­til 2004, was ar­res­ted in Mary­land Sept. 25 and had been cus­tody in Phil­adelphia since Sept. 27.

Bren­nan’s at­tor­ney, Tre­van Bor­um, told Patrick his cli­ent had no crim­in­al re­cord and strong ties to the com­munity. Sev­er­al people stood in court to show the judge they were there to sup­port Bren­nan, who was not present.

Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams on Sept. 26 said the priest re­peatedly mo­les­ted a par­ish al­tar boy from 1998 to 2001. Wil­li­ams said Bren­nan’s vic­tim was 11 and in the par­ish school’s sixth grade when the mo­lesta­tions star­ted, and Bren­nan was 60. The ab­use oc­curred in the North­east church’s sac­risty, Bren­nan’s rect­ory bed­room, a stor­age area on par­ish prop­erty and in a movie theat­er, the DA said.

The priest, who was prom­in­ently men­tioned in the 2005 Phil­ad­elphia Grand Jury re­port on sexu­al ab­use by Cath­ol­ic clergy, was ar­res­ted Sept. 25 in Perry­ville, Md., where he lives in a private res­id­en­ce.

Wil­li­ams said Bren­nan has been charged with rape, in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course and ag­grav­ated in­de­cent as­sault.

Bren­nan’s pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing is sched­uled for 11 a.m. on Oct. 17 in Courtroom 806 of the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter, 13th and Fil­bert streets.

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