You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Priest, ex-teacher face sex trial in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — A troubled police officer’s son who accuses two Roman Catholic priests and a teacher of raping him during boyhood is set to testify at a Philadelphia trial this week — and have his startling claims challenged in court for the first time.

The young man, identified by the pseudonym Billy in a 2011 grand jury report, testified in a landmark priest-abuse case last year. Lawyers for the church official on trial never cross-examined him, but now the strategy has changed.

Continue reading below

Monsignor William Lynn’s lawyers doubted Billy’s story, but they feared their questions would open the door for jurors to learn that one accused priest had taken a plea deal.

Lynn later became the first US church official convicted over his handling of abuse complaints. He is serving three to six years in prison for endangering Billy’s safety by moving the Rev. Edward Avery, a suspected pedophile, to St. Jerome’s Parish.

‘‘I thought I did something wrong — and it’s a priest,’’ Billy testified about his 1999 encounter with Avery. ‘‘I didn’t think anyone would believe me.’’

The other two rape suspects go on trial Monday, and Billy’s credibility — under potentially fierce cross-examination — may determine the outcome. In the adult Billy, the jury will see an accuser who has spent much of his life battling drugs and alcohol.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.