August 9, 2016 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn returned to a Philadelphia courtroom Thursday, four years older and a lot thinner than when he left to serve three to six years in prison for his conviction in the Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandal. Two Pennsylvania appeals courts have erased Lynn's child endangerment conviction, although they are powerless to give back 33 months in prison. But for the 65-year-old former secretary for clergy - the first Catholic Church official in the nation convicted for the way he supervised pedophile priests - freedom on $250,000 bail is the only clearing in a legal cloud that has shadowed him since 2002.
August 4, 2016 |
After almost three years in prison for a conviction that has been reversed, Msgr. William J. Lynn went free Tuesday on $250,000 bail pending a new trial over his handling of Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing children. Officials at the state prison in Waymart in Northeastern Pennsylvania confirmed that Lynn - Inmate KQ4194 - was released on bail Tuesday afternoon. For Lynn, 65 - the first Catholic Church official convicted for supervising pedophile priests - the bail ruling by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright meant freedom and reunion with family.
March 24, 2016 |
Lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn have asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reject prosecutors' appeal of a court decision that granted Lynn a new trial, calling the request "breathtakingly dishonest. " In court documents filed Tuesday, lawyers for Lynn, who was granted a new trial in December after being convicted for his role in supervising Catholic priests who molested children, contend that there are no grounds for appeal under state rules. A Superior Court panel overturned Lynn's conviction and granted a new trial after finding that evidence about priests not involved in Lynn's case swayed the jury.
December 25, 2015 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Roman Catholic Church official convicted in the United States for covering up child sex abuse by priests, wants out of prison and to have his case assigned to a new judge. A day after a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel overturned - for a second time - the 64-year-old's 2012 conviction, his lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, sought an emergency bail hearing for his client and the removal of Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina from the case. In court filings Wednesday, Bergstrom cited Sarmina's "previous harsh sentence and other rulings," as well as her decision to admit evidence at trial of decades worth of child-abuse complaints involving Philadelphia area priests, some of which predated Lynn's tenure as secretary for clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
May 2, 2015 |
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church official convicted in the clergy sex-abuse scandal, returned to prison Thursday after a Philadelphia judge ordered him to resume his sentence for child endangerment. Lynn, 64, was taken to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, about four miles across Northeast Philadelphia from the rectory of St. William parish in Crescentville, where he had lived on house arrest since January 2014. Lynn's lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, said he would challenge Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's ruling.
April 29, 2015 |
The landmark child-endangerment conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn - the first Catholic Church official found guilty for his role supervising priests in the clergy sex-abuse scandal - was reinstated Monday by Pennsylvania's Supreme Court. Writing for the 4-1 majority of the state's high court, Justice Max Baer said Superior Court erred when it reversed Lynn's conviction because he did not directly supervise children. At issue was whether a 2007 amendment to the child-endangerment statute, which specifically included supervisory personnel as open to criminal culpability, expanded the original 1995 law or simply clarified it. If the amendments just expanded the law, Lynn would have been unconstitutionally convicted for acts that predated the amendments.
January 30, 2014 |
Citing its "great importance as a matter of public policy," Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams formally asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to reinstate the conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church official convicted for his supervisory role over a sexually abusive priest. The petition says the state's highest court should hear the appeal because the Dec. 26 opinion by a three-judge Superior Court panel that reversed Lynn's conviction was "serially erroneous," potentially precedent-setting, "and the subject of national attention.
January 4, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA Msgr. William J. Lynn was released from state prison Thursday, but before he returns to private life, he must again face the judge who put him behind bars. After serving about 18 months in prison, Lynn left the prison in Waymart, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, on Thursday, a week after an appeals court overturned his child-endangerment conviction. Prosecutors are challenging the decision. On Monday, Lynn is to appear before Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who in 2012 sentenced him to three to six years in prison for his role in enabling priests to abuse children.
January 1, 2014 |
The Philadelphia judge who last year said she was sending Msgr. William J. Lynn to prison for enabling "monsters in clerical garb" to sexually abuse children ordered that he could be freed on bail Monday while the state Supreme Court decides whether his conviction was legal. In a brief hearing, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said she could have made a mistake in allowing Lynn to be prosecuted under the state's child-endangerment law - a decision overturned last week by an appellate court.
December 28, 2013 |
A state appeals court on Thursday reversed the conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia administrator who became the first church official nationwide to be tried and imprisoned for covering up child sex-abuse by priests. In a 43-page opinion, a three-judge Superior Court panel wrote that prosecutors and a judge misapplied the state's child-endangerment law by claiming Lynn was criminally responsible because he supervised a priest, Edward Avery, when Avery sexually abused an altar boy in the mid-1990s.