Catholic Priest of Philadelphia Monsignor William Lynn Gets to 6 Years for Child Sex Abuse
July 25, 2012
|Catholic priest of Philadelphia William Lynn gets to 6 years for child sex abuse|
|Monsignor William Lynn is the first American church official convicted in the child sex abuse scandal.|
A Roman Catholic Monsignor William Lynn has been sentenced yesterday to serve up to 6 years in prison for allowing a priest suspected of sexual misconduct with a minor to continue to work in an assignment involving contact with children.
US catholic priest William J. Lynn, a former cardinal's aide, was found guilty of endangering children, becoming the first senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States convicted of covering up child sexual abuses by priests under his supervision in Philadelphia.
The catholic priest Monsignor William Lynn's sentence is another milestone in a sex-abuse scandal that has shaken the Church in the US and elsewhere for the past ten years.
61 year-old priest William Lynn served as secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for twelve years from 1992 to 2004, a job that included investigating abuse allegations lodged against priests in the diocese.
Philadelphia Monsignor William Lynn sentenced to jail / William Lynn convicted of allowing abuse
The sentence handed down by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was less than the maximum penalty of 7 years in prison for William Lynn's conviction on a single count of child sex abuse.
Judge Sarmina has said the sentence was meant to punish Monsignor William Lynn for protecting ' monsters in clerical garb who molested children … to destroy the souls of children, to whom you turned a hard heart '. Sarmina said also : ' You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong. '
The twelve member jury acquitted catholic priest William Lynn, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, of conspiracy and a second count of endangerment abused children after a trial that prosecutors and victims rights groups called a turning point in the abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church.
William Lynn, who oversaw the work of 8 hundred priests, was convicted of covering up child sex-abuse allegations, often by transferring abusive priests to unsuspecting parishes.
' He protected monsters in clerical garb who molested children ' / catholic priest of Philadelphia Monsignor William Lynn has been sentenced for 3-6 years for child sex abuse
Victims' groups heralded William Lynn's conviction as an opening to law-enforcement officials in other cities to look anew at whether other high-ranking church officials could be held criminally liable for looking the other way when priests under their charge were accused of sex abuse.
Before the judge sentenced catholic priest, Monsignor William Lynn apologized to the abuse victim at the center of the case. Lynn said : ' I did the best with what I could… but the fact is my best was not good enough to stop the harm to the victim and for that, I am sorry '. Monsignor William Lynn was not charged with sexual abusing or molesting children, but rather with covering up the crimes of priests who did.
William Lynn's sentence fell short of the maximum of three to seven years in prison, but was above court guidelines of 9 to 18 months. Victims' lawyers and prosecutors were hoping for the maximum sentence of 7 years for William Lynn.
Priests sexually abused children / criminal prosecution for Monsignor William Lynn
The revelations of child sexual abuse and seeming official indifference have tormented an archdiocese that was long known for imperious leaders and an insular camaraderie among its priests. It has also been expensive : the financially ailing archdiocese said recently that legal fees and internal investigations spurred by the abuse cases of William Lynn had cost about 11,6 million dollars since 2011.
The 3-month trial cast a harsh light on the top leadership of the archdiocese, especially Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, whom Monsignor William Lynn advised. Archbishop of Philadelphia from 1988 to 2003, has died in January, but his name was invoked frequently during the testimony. Monsignor William Lynn's own lawyer told the jury that ' in this trial, you have seen the dark side of the church. '