Court allows re-trial of Philadelphia monsignor after conviction was reversed
March 27, 2017
A Pennsylvania court has cleared the way for a re-trail of a Philadelphia priest whose conviction on child-endangerment charges was overturned by the state’s top court.
Msgr. William Lynn will be tried once again for his alleged failure to take action on a sex-abuse complaint. As an official of the Philadelphia archdiocese, Msgr. Lynn had advised the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua that a priest was a danger. But the cardinal did not take action, and Msgr. Lynn did not make his concerns public. He was convicted in 2012, after a grand jury report that condemned the archdiocese for its handling of abuse cases. (Cardinal Bevilacqua, who was terminally ill at the time, was harshly criticized in the report, but was not prosecuted.)
Msgr. Lynn’s conviction has twice been overturned, and he has already served nearly three years of prison term, so that even if he is again convicted, he would almost immediately qualify for parole. Nevertheless the Philadelphia district attorney, Seth Williams, has decided to continue pursing the case. The case has been a top priority for Williams, whose political future is now clouded by an indictment on bribery charges.
Lawyers for Msgr. Lynn could appeal the decision to allow the new trial.
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- Judge clears way for retrial of ex-Philadelphia monsignor (AP)
- Aggressive prosecutor seeks new conviction in landmark Philadelphia abuse case (CWN, 8/10/16)
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