(Reuters) - A defrocked priest accused of sex abuse in the pedophilia scandal that has rocked the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia pleaded guilty on Thursday, just days before he, another priest and a higher-ranking monsignor were due to go to trial.
Edward Avery, 69, admitted to sex abuse involving a 10-year-old boy and was promptly sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to two-and-a-half to five years in prison for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and criminal conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children.
Avery was one of three defendants in the high-profile case at the Archdiocese, the sixth largest in the nation with 1.5 million Catholics.
The trial is due to begin on Monday with Rev. James Brennan, who is charged with child sex abuse, and Monsignor William Lynn, the former secretary of the clergy for the Archdiocese, who is accused of child endangerment and conspiracy.