Catholic World News

Aggressive prosecutor seeks new conviction in landmark Philadelphia abuse case

August 10, 2016

A Philadelphia prosecutor says that he never hesitated in his determination to pursue a new trial of Msgr. William Lynn, although the priest has already served nearly the full minimum sentence for the crime of which we was originally convicted.

Msgr. Lynn, a former official of the Philadelphia archdiocese, was convicted in 2012 of endangering children, because of his alleged failure to take action on sex-abuse complaints. He was, at the time, the highest Catholic official to be convicted-- not for his own misconduct but for covering up the reported misconduct of others. 

However, Msgr. Lynn was released on bail earlier this month, after an appeals court ruled last December that he had been convicted on the basis of tainted evidence. The primary accuser in the case has a long history of crime, drug abuse, and making false or conflicting statements. 

Before his release, Msgr. Lynn had served 33 months in prison, and would soon have been eligible for parole if his original conviction had been upheld. Nevertheless, distict attorney Seth Williams-- who has been aggressive in pursuing the case-- insisted that he never had doubts about the value of a new trial. He charged that Msgr. Lynn had "helped create a playbook for handling someone who alleges that an archdiocesan priest is a pedophile."




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  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Aug. 10, 2016 9:29 PM ET USA

    Let us pray for all involved, particularly for the prosecutor who appears to have a particularly aggressive agenda. Let us hope that the demons driving him can be laid to rest, knowing that the law has been satisfied and that the lessons to be learned from this horrible business will be applied in future. Thank God for Archbishop Chaput, who will lead the good people of Philadelphia beyond this terrible business.