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Msgr. Lynn’s bail set at $250K

A Philadelphia judge set bail at $250,000 for Monsignor William Lynn Monday, following a Superior Court decision last week overturning his conviction.

Lynn was the first official in the Roman Catholic Church to be convicted in the United States for his handling of allegations of clergy sex abuse.

To be released, Lynn must post $25,000, relinquish his passport, as well as submit to electronic monitoring and report in weekly. Lynn’s lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, expects him to get out of prison this week.

A jury found Lynn guilty of child endangerment in 2012. Prosecutors said he transferred priests who were accused of sexual abuse to other parishes, rather than removing them.

A Superior Court panel ruled last week that the state’s child endangerment law at the time did not apply to supervisors such as Lynn, but only to parents and direct caregivers. The law was changed in 2007 to explicitly include supervisors and employers.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Monday that he is going to appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“The overturn of Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction was an injustice, sends the wrong message to every Philadelphian, to every victim,” Williams said. “It sets a different standard for different people because of who you are or what you’re charged with, and we won’t stand for it.”

Bergstrom called Williams’ plan to appeal a “fool’s errand.”

“I think they’ll lose,” Bergstrom said. “I don’t think this case is all that remarkable. The new statute’s in effect. Any case that’s going to be brought going forward will not be brought under the old statute. So I don’t understand why the Supreme Court would be the least bit interested in this case.”

Lynn has served 18 months of a three-to-six year prison term.

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