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….
July 28, 2010 Comments Off on Satanists jailed, abuse/heart disease, Jeffs new trial, cult sex abuse, trauma
describes crimes – Russian Satanists jailed for gruesome ritual murders From: NewsCore July 27, 2010 A GANG of six Russians Satanists have been handed jail sentences of up to 20 years for ritually killing and then dismembering four teenagers in a forest.
The six – all teenagers at the time – reportedly also ate the body parts of their victims in a wooded area outside the city of Yaroslavl, about 320 kilometres northeast of Moscow.
The group was found guilty of “murdering four people with the aim of carrying out an initiation ritual into a sect and of desecrating the bodies of the dead,” the Yaroslavl regional court said in a statement. The group, four of whom were under 18 at the time, killed the four teenagers in June 2008, prosecutors said….The accused were found guilty of murder, while four were also found guilty of desecrating the victims’ bodies. The longest sentence of 20 years went to the man named as the group’s leader, Nikolai Ogolobnyak.
Link Between Childhood Physical Abuse and Heart Disease
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2010) — Childhood physical abuse is associated with significantly elevated rates of heart disease in adulthood, according to new findings by University of Toronto researchers, published in this month’s issue of the journal Child Abuse & Neglect. “Individuals who reported they had been physically abused as children had 45 per cent higher odds of heart disease than their peers who had not been abused, despite the fact we had adjusted for most of the known risk factors for heart disease,” says Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, who holds the Sandra Rotman Chair at U of T’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Utah court reverses polygamist leader convictions
By JENNIFER DOBNER, Associated Press Writer Jennifer Dobner, Jul 27, 2010 SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the convictions of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and ordered a new trial, saying a jury received incorrect instructions before considering his role in the 2001 nuptials of a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. Jeffs, 54, was convicted in 2007 of two counts of first-degree felony rape as an accomplice. He is serving two consecutive terms of five years to life in the Utah State Prison….Jeffs is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The sect, whose estimated 10,000 members live mostly on the Utah-Arizona state line, practices polygamy in marriages arranged by church leaders. Some marriages have involved underage girls to older men.
Jeffs performed the religious marriage of Elissa Wall and Allen Steed in a Caliente, Nev., motel and later counseled Wall to be obedient and give her “mind, body and soul” to her husband in an effort to make an unhappy marriage work.
During the trial and later in her book, “Stolen Innocence,” Wall said she objected to the marriage and was forced into sexual relations with her husband….In its ruling Tuesday, the court agreed with defense attorneys who argued that jurors should not have been told to decide whether Wall’s marital relations were consensual based on Jeffs’ actions and his role as her religious leader. That essentially equates Jeffs with Steed — the person who allegedly has had nonconsensual sex. Justices said prosecutors were wrong to make that leap.
Michael Lyons may have raped dozens more women
Police fear dozens more women around the world have been raped by cult leader Michael Lyons. 26 Jul 2010 Officers said many victims were too scared to come forward after falling into the clutches of his intimidating group. They said Lyons, known in spiritualist circles as Mohan Singh, was a calculating criminal masquerading as a healer.
Lyons was jailed for 10 years yesterday after being convicted of raping one woman and assaulting another. However police say many more women around the world may also have been victims….Detective Sergeant Nicholas Giles, who pursued Lyons, said officers liaised with colleagues at the FBI as the net closed around their suspect. He said Lyons travelled widely between London, Paris, Miami and New York, spending only a few months in each place. Internet campaigners claim to have drawn up a list of 20 potential victims in New York alone. Mr Giles said the complex and unusual case created many difficulties, including persuading the jury how dangerous Lyons was. He said: ”This is all about control, brainwashing, a cult. It is not someone with a mask jumping out of a bush. It is very hard to prove. ”We had to bring family members, people who have lost people to the cult, from America.”
Confessions of a Trauma Therapist A Memoir of Healing and Transformation Mary K. Armstrong TO HER SURPRISE, dismay, and eventually relief, Mary Armstrong, a therapist with over thirty years of experience helping people heal from childhood trauma, uncovered her own history of child sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather and father. As she tells her harrowing but heroic tale, she casts light as never before on the issue of repressed memories and the invisible wounds left by childhood trauma. ISBN 978-1-926645-19-3 http://www.bpsbooks.com
Author’s website http://www.marykarmstrong.com/