December 29, 2013 Comments Off on Pa. court reverses conviction of Roman Catholic church official jailed in clergy abuse scandal
Pa. court reverses conviction of Roman Catholic church official jailed in clergy abuse scandal
December 26, 2013
PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania appeals court has ruled that a Roman Catholic church official was wrongly convicted for his handling of priest sex-abuse complaints.
The unanimous decision released Thursday by the state Superior Court also dismisses the criminal case against Monsignor William Lynn.
Lynn has been serving three to six years in prison after his child-endangerment conviction last year. Prosecutors had argued that Lynn reassigned predators to new parishes in Philadelphia when he was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004….
But Lynn’s attorneys contended the state’s child-endangerment law at the time applied only to parents and caregivers, not supervisors like Lynn.
Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
June 23, 2012 Comments Off on Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges
By the CNN Wire Staff June 22, 2012
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty Friday on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.
Jurors delivered the verdict around 10 p.m. after deliberating for about 21 hours. There were convictions related to all 10 sexual abuse victims, with the three not-guilty verdicts applying to three different individuals….
During closing arguments, prosecutors described the ex-Nittany Lions defensive coordinator as a pedophile who preyed on victims using a charity he founded for troubled children, repeatedly abusing young boys in his care.
Sandusky, 68, had pleaded not guilty to the 48 charges of child sex abuse that spanned a 15-year period….
After a week of testimony, during which time witnesses graphically described sexual encounters with Sandusky that they said occurred durijng their boyhoods, jurors made their decision without ever having heard from Sandusky on the witness stand….
Eight young men testified, often in disturbingly graphic detail, of how Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches’ locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.
One told jurors that Sandusky — whom he met, like many of the accusers, through The Second Mile foundation that the ex-coach founded — had threatened him if he told others about the abuse. Another said Sandusky warned him that he might send him home from a trip to Texas, where they’d gone to watch a Penn State bowl game.
The defense challenged the accusers’ timetable, questioned the various allegations and called multiple character witness to defend Sandusky’s stellar reputation in the community. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/22/justice/pennsylvania-sandusky-trial/index.html
Philadelphia Priest Trial: Jury Reaches Split Verdict In Case Of Monsignor William Lynn
By MARYCLAIRE DALE 06/22/12
PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic church official was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy Friday in a landmark clergy-abuse trial, making him the first U.S. church official branded a felon for covering up abuse claims.
Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said.
Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua….
Lynn had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts he faced – conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment. He was convicted of only a single endangerment count, which carries a possible 3 1/2- to seven-year prison term.
The jury could not reach a verdict for Lynn’s co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1999.
Despite Lynn’s acquittal on the conspiracy charge, the trial exposed how deeply involved the late cardinal was in dealing with accused priests.
Bevilacqua had the final say on what to do with priests accused of abuse, transferred many of them to new parishes and dressed down anyone who complained, according to testimony. He also ordered the shredding of a 1994 list that Lynn prepared, warning that the archdiocese had three diagnosed pedophiles, a dozen confirmed predators and another 20 possible abusers in its midst.
Church lawyers turned over a surviving copy of the list days after Bevilacqua died….
With the verdict, after 13 days of deliberations, jurors concluded that prosecutors failed to show that Lynn was part of a conspiracy to move predator priests around.
The jury, however, did find that Lynn endangered the victim of defrocked priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty before trial to a 1999 sexual assault. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/philadelphia-priest-trial_n_1619355.html
Soap opera comparison in Sandusky trial and coaches showering with kids just isn’t normal, Jurors Report Split Over Church Abuse Charges
June 21, 2012 Comments Off on Soap opera comparison in Sandusky trial and coaches showering with kids just isn’t normal, Jurors Report Split Over Church Abuse Charges
Soap opera comparison in Sandusky trial adds insult to tragedy
Alleged abuse victims weren’t characters on daytime drama — and coaches showering with kids just isn’t normal
John Kass June 20, 2012
….If you don’t think something’s wrong with an adult naked in a shower with kids, then you’re not a parent. But this week, Amendola put witnesses on the stand to say that it’s not unusual for grown men to take showers with children at Penn State. The witnesses said it was normal.
So we asked some experienced coaches if it was normal here, in Illinois.
“That type of thing is not part of any culture or system I’ve been in in high school or college or as a coach,” said Brett Detering, 1st vice president of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. “There are separate facilities for coaches and students.”
Detering is the head coach at Anna-Jonesboro High School in southern Illinois. He played football in high school and in college, and he’s been coaching for 17 years. And he doesn’t take showers with his players. He’s never taken showers with his players.
“I would say that’s just common sense,” Coach Detering said of not showering with his players. “How anyone could be confused about that is beyond me.”
John Elder, executive director of the Illinois Coaches Association, spent 40 years as a football coach at Alexis High School in western Illinois, and retired from coaching eight years ago. He played at Alexis as a boy.
“But it was not normal, even then, for coaches to shower with the team,” Elder said. “It wouldn’t have been done back in the day, and it definitely wouldn’t be done today.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0620-20120620,0,4414967.column
Jurors Report Split Over Church Abuse Charges
By JON HURDLE and ERIK ECKHOLM June 20, 2012
PHILADELPHIA — In its 12th day of deliberations, the jury in the landmark trial of a Roman Catholic Church official accused of covering up sexual abuses by other priests said Wednesday that it was deadlocked on four of the five charges in the trial.
“We, the jury, are at a hung jury status on all charges except for one,” jurors said in a note that was read aloud by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina of the Court of Common Pleas.
The judge instructed the jury to keep trying to reach unanimous agreement on all five charges. The church official, Msgr. William J. Lynn, is accused of two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one of conspiracy. A priest, the Rev. James J. Brennan, faces charges of endangerment and attempted rape. Deliberations will resume on Friday.
Monsignor Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy for the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, in charge of recommending jobs for priests and investigating charges of sexual abuse. He is the first church official in the United States to be tried on accusations of enabling the depredations of priests, rather than committing abuses himself. Prosecutors said he had repeatedly played down credible accusations of abuse, lied to inquiring parents and parish officials about predatory priests and reassigned them to unwary parishes. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/us/monsignor-lynn-jury-says-it-is-deadlocked.html
Etan Patz Case – Pedro Hernandez Charged With Second Degree Murder, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Monsignor William Lynn Takes Stand In Own Defense
May 26, 2012 Comments Off on Etan Patz Case – Pedro Hernandez Charged With Second Degree Murder, Philadelphia Priest Trial: Monsignor William Lynn Takes Stand In Own Defense
Pedro Hernandez Charged With Second Degree Murder In Etan Patz Case
By COLLEEN LONG and LARRY NEUMEISTER 05/25/12 AP
NEW YORK — Thirty-three years to the day after 6-year-old Etan Patz vanished without a trace while walking to catch a school bus, a man accused of strangling him and dumping his body with the trash was arraigned on a murder charge on Friday in a locked hospital ward where he was being held as a suicide risk.
A lawyer for Pedro Hernandez, who was a teenage convenience store stock clerk at the time of the boy’s disappearance, told the judge that his client is mentally ill and has a history of hallucinations….
Hernandez, a churchgoing father now living in Maple Shade, N.J., was arrested Thursday after making a surprise confession in a case that has bedeviled investigators and inspired dread in generations of New York City parents for three decades.
Etan disappeared on May 25, 1979, on his two-block walk to his bus stop in Manhattan. It was the first time his parents had let him walk the route by himself.
Next to the bus stop was a convenience store, where Hernandez, then 18, worked as a clerk. When police, acting on a tip, interviewed him this week, he said he lured Etan into the basement with a promise of a soda, choked him to death, then stuffed his body in a bag and left it with trash on the street a block away, police said….
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Hernandez gave a detailed confession that led police to believe they had the right man. He also said Hernandez told a relative and others as far back as 1981 that he had “done something bad” and killed a child in New York.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/pedro-hernandez-charged-etan-patz_n_1546858.html
Philadelphia Priest Trial: Monsignor William Lynn Takes Stand In Own Defense
By MARYCLAIRE DALE 05/24/12
PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic church official testified Thursday that he typed a list of suspected pedophile priests on his computer, but couldn’t find it 10 years later to show a grand jury.
Monsignor William Lynn endured a second day of searing cross-examination as he fights charges he endangered children by protecting priests. He’s due back on the stand Tuesday.
Lynn denies locking the 1994 list in an archdiocese safe, where church employees say it was found in 2006 and then buried in a lawyer’s files until this year.
The list was turned over to city prosecutors in February, days after Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died. They’ve made it something of a smoking gun since the trial started in March.
Prosecutors believe it shows the Philadelphia archdiocese knew it had diagnosed pedophiles and other predators on duty, but left them in jobs with access to children….
Lynn is charged with endangering two children by leaving the Rev. James Brennan, a co-defendant charged with attempted rape, and former priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty to sexual assault, in ministry despite earlier red flags….
On Bevilacqua’s orders, Molloy shredded Lynn’s list of predators in February 1994, an act witnessed by Cistone, according to the “shred memo,” which was shown in court….
the case of a priest accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl in Venezuela years earlier. “The cardinal did not consider that pedophilia, because it was a different culture and a different atmosphere,” Lynn recalled. The priest remained in ministry until March, when he was removed from the South Philadelphia parish he led.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/philadelphia-priest-trial-parishioners-told-accused-priests-had-health-problems-monsignor-william-lynn-testifies_n_1542218.html
April 4, 2012 Comments Off on Trial: Priest joked about abusing 3 boys in week
Trial: Priest joked about abusing 3 boys in week
By MARYCLAIRE DALE 4/3/12
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jurors in a landmark priest-abuse trial heard Monday about a priest-turned-camp prowler and another who allegedly bragged about having sex with three boys in one week….
Monsignor William Lynn is on trial for child endangerment and conspiracy. Lynn, 61, is the first Roman Catholic church official in the U.S. charged for his handling of priest-abuse complaints. Prosecutors say he helped the church bury them in secret files, far from the prying eyes of investigators, civil attorneys and concerned Catholics.
In the day’s most startling testimony, a detective read internal church memos about a priest who allegedly “joked about how hard it was to have sex with three boys in one week.” His accuser also stated that the priest had a “rotation process” of boys spending time sleeping with him.
Defense lawyers argue that Lynn tried to address the problem as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, but was blocked by the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and others in the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The testimony Monday also included a 1992 complaint about a different priest who allegedly molested boys at a church-owned camp three decades earlier.
Several junior counselors complained in the early 1960s that the priest was on the prowl at night, molesting them in their tents. They said it was a well-known secret among teen counselors for several years.
The priest remained in ministry, working at three archdiocesan high schools and serving as assistant superintendent of Catholic schools through 2004. Confronted after a man complained to the archdiocese in 1992, the priest admitted to the “sin” of masturbation and said he had read up on that subject because so many people were mentioning it in the confessional….
His 28-year-old son, Arthur Jr., died of a drug overdose in 2006, after his civil lawsuit against the church accusing his high school principal of molesting him was thrown out because of legal time limits. The former principal, a Franciscan friar, is in prison for stealing nearly $900,000 from the school and the Franciscans, some of which fed the younger Baselice’s drug addiction, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors are detailing allegations made against nearly two dozen priests since 1948 to show that Lynn and other archdiocesan officials kept suspected predators in jobs around children.
On cross-examination Monday, defense lawyers Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom had detectives concede that Lynn promptly interviewed both complainants and accused priests, and sent the priests to a church-run hospital for mental health evaluations and treatment….
He remained there until 2004, when a church panel reviewing complaints in the wake of the national priest-abuse scandal found the allegations against him credible. The priest only then admitted molesting three boys, and explained earlier denials on the fact he had confessed and moved past it.
The archdiocese restricted his ministry — 40 years after the camp allegations first surfaced.