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.