Lynn to face new trial on charges of covering up clergy sex abuse of kids

    Msgr. William Lynn, the first U.S. Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy sex abuse, is now expected to be retried in 2019, more than two years after he left prison a free man. (AP file photo)

    Msgr. William Lynn, the first U.S. Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy sex abuse, is now expected to be retried in 2019, more than two years after he left prison a free man. (AP file photo)

    Msgr. William Lynn, the first U.S. Catholic Church official to be convicted of covering up clergy sex abuse, is now on track for a new trial.

    During a brief hearing Friday afternoon, Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright denied Lynn’s motion to dismiss a retrial.

    Lynn’s lawyers have argued the 66 year-old shouldn’t face one because prosecutors “intentionally concealed” favorable evidence during his first trial in 2012. Evidence – they say – that would have discredited the victim at the center of that case.

    Prosecutors have denied that claim.

    Lynn’s lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, may appeal Bright’s ruling.

    Lynn was released from prison in August after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated his conviction.

    The high court affirmed that jurors were “prejudiced” by hearing hours of testimony about sex abuse unrelated to Lynn’s actions as supervisor for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    During his three-month trial, prosecutors presented 21 examples of the Archdiocese covering up clergy sex abuse. Some of them dated back to the 1940s, long before Lynn was in charge of recommending where priests should serve.

    Lynn had served nearly three years of his 3-6 year sentence and already was scheduled for parole when he was released.

    In 2012, a jury convicted Lynn of one count of endangering the welfare of children.

    Prosecutors argued Lynn recommended transferring a known pedophile priest to a parish in Northeast Philadelphia.

    That priest, Edward Avery, later pleaded guilty to molesting an altar boy there and was defrocked.

     

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