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Catholic priest cleared of felonies, convicted of misdemeanor

Catholic priest cleared of felonies, convicted of misdemeanor

Catholic priest John W. Broderick was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge this afternoon but acquit

Catholic priest John W. Broderick was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge this afternoon but acquitted on two felony counts of sexual conduct against a child.

The jury’s verdict, returned about 3 p.m., was viewed as a victory by Broderick’s family. His brother Michael said the family was pleased with the outcome.

Broderick was convicted of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Jurors deliberated about nine hours over two days and heard testimony read-backs.

Broderick will face up to 1 year in county jail when sentenced.

Broderick, of Broome County, was accused of sexual behavior against three boys under the age of 11 over a period of time while he was acting as the mother’s spiritual advisor.

Broderick spent one weekend a month with the family, who live in rural western Montgomery County, from December 2006 to May 2007. Broderick conducted traditional Catholic rituals and said traditional Catholic Masses with the family and several other families with similar values. In May 2007, Broderick stopped visiting the family because of a disagreement over a contract to form a “covenant” — a self-sustained church group.

Throughout the case, defense attorney Mark Blum, who was representing Broderick, argued the children, who testified on closed-circuit television, were led to believe they had been sexually abused by their father who was jealous of the relationship between Broderick and his wife.

Montgomery County District Attorney James “Jed” Conboy, however, argued that the children’s testimony was not rehearsed.

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