Breaking News: Monsignor Lynn is sentenced to 3 to 6 years in prison

Monsignor Wil­li­am Lynn is the first high-rank­ing of­fi­cial of the Ro­man Cath­ol­ic church in Amer­ica to be con­victed and sen­tenced to pris­on. He was ac­cused in the Phil­adelphia priest sex ab­use scan­dal.

Monsignor Lynn is go­ing to pris­on for three to six years.

Lynn, 61, the first mem­ber of the Ro­man Cath­ol­ic hier­archy to be found guilty of shield­ing a child-mo­lest­ing priest, was giv­en the sen­tence this morn­ing by Com­mon Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa. Lynn could have faced a max­im­um of sev­en years in pris­on.

His de­fense law­yers said they planned to ap­peal his con­vic­tion. A bail hear­ing for Lynn has been set for Aug. 6.

Lynn has been jailed since June 22, when a jury found him guilty of one count of en­dan­ger­ing chil­dren after a three-month tri­al. Lynn was ac­quit­ted of a second en­dan­ger­ing count and a con­spir­acy charge.

Jur­ors could not make a de­cision on at­temp­ted rape and con­spir­acy charges faced by Lynn’s co-de­fend­ant, the Rev. James Bren­nan. The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s of­fice an­nounced Monday that it will retry Bren­nan. No date was set for the new tri­al.

Lynn be­came the first high-placed Cath­ol­ic ad­min­is­trat­or in Amer­ica to be ar­res­ted in a child-mo­lesta­tion case, charged with pro­tect­ing priests who preyed on chil­dren.

A grand jury charged in 2011 that the monsignor, as sec­ret­ary for clergy un­der Car­din­al An­thony Bevilac­qua, was re­spons­ible for sex crimes against two minors com­mit­ted by Bren­nan and an­oth­er priest, Ed­ward Avery, after he had in­vest­ig­ated them. Grand jur­ors said Lynn had put chil­dren in jeop­ardy be­cause he had not re­moved the them from min­istry.

Be­fore and dur­ing a tri­al that began March 26, Lynn’s law­yers in­sisted that it was not Lynn, but Bevilac­qua who made the de­cisions on where priests were placed in the Phil­adelphia Arch­diocese.

The car­din­al, who was the city’s arch­bish­op un­til 2005, died in Janu­ary.

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