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Philadelphia Monsignor’s Conviction Over Sex Abuse Overturned

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/23/15


The landmark conviction of a Roman Catholic church official imprisoned over his handling of priest sexual abuse complaints was overturned Tuesday for the second time. The state Superior Court ruling awarded a new trial to Monsignor William Lynn, who has been on a legal roller coaster since his 2012 trial on child endangerment charges. The appeals court said the trial judge erred in allowing weeks of testimony from 21 other accusers to show how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia handled sex-abuse complaints that dated to 1948. The three-judge panel wrote that the judge went too far in permitting the “other-acts evidence.” That evidence “covered a myriad of circumstances that provided only minimal insight into (Lynn’s) state of mind,” the panel wrote. Lynn, 64, was convicted of endangering a policeman’s son who said he was sexually assaulted as a boy by two priests and a teacher, including a previously accused priest who was transferred to his parish. Lynn was the first church official ever charged over his handling of abuse complaints. “It’s certainly taken a toll, but he’s holding up,” said defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom, who hopes to get him released from prison quickly. “It’s a roller coaster, and he’s been on it. Hopefully, we can end it now.”

Read more.

Photo: NBC / Philadelphia

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