December 29, 2015 Comments Off on New trial ordered for Msgr. Lynn, chief defendant in Phila. clergy abuse case
New trial ordered for Msgr. Lynn, chief defendant in Phila. clergy abuse case
Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
A Pennsylvania appellate court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Msgr. William J. Lynn, overturning for a second time a landmark verdict that was the first conviction nationwide of a Catholic Church official for covering up child sex abuse by priests.
A three-judge Superior Court panel found that Lynn’s 2012 conviction had been tainted by prosecutors’ presentation of nearly two dozen examples of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s failure to handle pedophilia within its ranks. Lynn, however, was only charged in connection with his supervision of two priests.
Such evidence, said Judge Emeritus John T. Bender, writing for the majority, was “unfairly prejudicial” and effectively turned Lynn into a scapegoat for the wider sins of the church. Some of those crimes predated by decades Lynn’s tenure as the archdiocesan official in charge of handling sex-abuse complaints.
The court’s decision again threw into doubt what District Attorney Seth Williams has touted as a historic prosecution, and raised questions about the 64-year-old cleric’s future, two years into his three- to six-year sentence on child endangerment charges.
His lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, said he intends once again to seek Lynn’s release from prison….
Lynn was convicted after a 13-week trial and 12 days of deliberations of allowing the Rev. Edward V. Avery, who had a history of sexually abusing children, to live in a rectory of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Northeast Philadelphia, where he later assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. Avery pleaded guilty in the 1999 attack and was sentenced to five years in prison. He is currently at the state prison in Laurel Highlands, Somerset County….
Philadelphia prosecutors seek rehearing in Catholic church official’s clergy abuse case
Published December 28, 2015 Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia’s district attorney wants an appeals court to take another look at the case of a Roman Catholic church official whose conviction over his handling of sex-abuse cases was overturned last week.
Monsignor William Lynn has been imprisoned intermittently since his 2012 trial.
District Attorney Seth Williams says in a statement he has filed an application for a re-argument of Lynn’s case before the full state Superior Court. He says the filing is in response to a decision by a three-judge panel on Tuesday to award a new trial to Lynn….
Neighbor of Ariel Castro pleads guilty to murders, rapes, kidnappings; Priest Released, Monsignor William Lynn, Priest Formerly Convicted In Child Abuse Scandal, Released
January 4, 2014 Comments Off on Neighbor of Ariel Castro pleads guilty to murders, rapes, kidnappings; Priest Released, Monsignor William Lynn, Priest Formerly Convicted In Child Abuse Scandal, Released
Neighbor of Ariel Castro pleads guilty to murders, rapes, kidnappings
By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News 12/30/13
A man nabbed by Cleveland police because of the proximity of his house to the late serial rapist and kidnapper Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to murder and rape charges on Monday in connection with the killings of two women.
Elias Acevedo Sr. was sentenced to 445 years in prison without parole for the murders of the women and multiple counts rape that date back as far as two decades, according to NBC affiliate, WKYC….
Acevedo, who lived doors away from Castro, pleaded not guilty in October to 293 counts, including 173 counts of rape and 115 counts of kidnapping.
On Monday, in a plea deal, Acevedo pleaded guilty to strangling Pemberton in 1994 and killing a pregnant Adkins the following year. Adkins’ body was discovered in October….
Monsignor William Lynn, Priest Formerly Convicted In Child Abuse Scandal, Released
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A church official who recently won an appeal of his landmark conviction in the priest-abuse scandal was released from custody Friday, and the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop defended the decision to use church funds to help with bail.
Monsignor William Lynn was staying at an undisclosed location in Philadelphia after being processed at a city jail and being fitted with an electronic monitoring device Friday morning, defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom said. He was due in court Monday for a bail hearing.
Lynn, who left a state prison on Thursday after 18 months behind bars, is the first U.S. church official to have been charged for hiding complaints that priests were molesting children.
City prosecutors had charged him with felony child endangerment, but the state Superior Court ruled that the law that existed at the time did not cover people who did not directly supervise children.
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