The District Attorney’s office will be filing its state Supreme Court brief in the case of Monsignor William Lynn, the most high-ranking U.S. Catholic clergyman convicted in a sex abuse case, by July 14. The cleric’s lawyers must file their brief 30 days later, Lynn’s attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, said.
The monsignor, never accused of even touching a child, remains free on bail while the DA tries to get the reversal of his historic 2012 child endangerment conviction itself reversed.
Lynn was arrested in early 2011 along with four other defendants after a Philadelphia grand jury issued its findings in the city’s second probe of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Three priests and a Catholic lay teacher were charged with molesting children in the late 1990s. The teacher and two of those priests were accused of committing those acts in the Northeast’s St. Jerome parish.
The monsignor, who had served as the secretary for clergy for Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua from 1992 to 2004, was charged with conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children. It was part of his job to investigate allegations against priests, and to recommend treatment, continued therapy and assignments
The gist of the prosecution’s case against Lynn was that he had investigated and knew the three priests were pedophiles but had kept them in ministries in which they had access to children.
Lynn’s lawyers argued before and during his three-month trial in 2012 that the state’s endangerment statute didn’t apply to the monsignor because he did not directly supervise any children. The cleric’s attorneys also stated that Lynn could recommend priests’ assignments, but that it was his boss, Bevilacqua, who put those priests near children. ••