Pennsylvania’s Superior Court on Tuesday ordered Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina to file an opinion of the appeal of a priest’s child endangerment conviction that resulted from last year’s history-making sex-abuse trial.
Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn appealed his June 22 conviction to Superior Court, but needed Sarmina to file her opinion of that appeal with the higher court for it to proceed, said Lynn’s attorney, Thomas Bergstrom.
On Jan. 14, Lynn’s lawyers asked Superior Court to order Sarmina to file that opinion. The higher court’s order stated that Sarmina’s opinion was due Oct. 9, 2012, and she should file it “forthwith.”
Although Lynn was never accused of molesting any minors, he became the focus of the archdiocesan sex-abuse scandal when he was charged with endangering children. He was the first member of the Roman Catholic Church’s American hierarchy to be so charged. Prosecutors said Lynn had allowed priests he knew to be molesters to remain in ministries in which they would have access to children.
Lynn went on trial before Sarmina in March 2012 along with the Rev. James Brennan, who had been accused of molesting a Bucks County teen. After a two-month trial and a month of deliberations, the jury was deadlocked on charges against Brennan. On June, 22, the panel acquitted Lynn of one endangerment count and of conspiracy, but convicted him of another endangerment count.
Sarmina subsequently sentenced the monsignor to three to six years imprisonment. ••