Calif man accused in priest assault describes fear

San Francisco Chronicle

PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

Updated 01:09 p.m., Friday, June 29, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The man accused of assaulting a priest he says molested him decades ago is testifying that he lashed out with his fists after being overcome by a deep-rooted fear of the reverend.

William Lynch readily admits he punched Jerold Lindner, a retired Jesuit priest, on May 10, 2010. But Lynch says he initially planned only to compel the priest to sign a written confession of molestation.

Lynch testified that memories of the alleged abuse 37 years ago came flooding back to him after he looked in the priest’s eyes.

He says he felt threatened and began striking the priest. Lynch says during the confrontation, the priest grabbed him by the throat in the same manner he was grabbed during the alleged sexual assault.

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