Will Lynch trial: Lynch admits he beat priest, but says it wasn’t planned

Marin Independent Journal

By Tracey Kaplan

Posted: 06/29/2012

At times sobbing during emotional testimony, the suspect in the priest beating case took the stand Friday and admitted he assaulted the Rev. Jerold Lindner in 2010.

But Will Lynch said he did not plan to attack Lindner when he went to the Jesuit retirement center in Los Gatos where the priest lives.

Instead, the 44-year-old San Francisco resident testified he wanted Lindner to sign a confession that the priest sexually molested Lynch and his 4-year-old brother more than 35 years ago on a camping trip sponsored by a religiou group. Lynch testified he hit Lindner after the priest “leered” at him the same way he did during the alleged molestation in the mid-1970s.

“I hit him more than once,” said Lynch, who began his testimony Friday morning after the prosecution rested its case.

Lynch is charged with two felonies that together carry a maximum sentence of four years — assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and also elder abuse under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death. Lynch refused to negotiate a plea deal for no more than a year in jail because he wanted to “out” Lindner and expose clergy sex abuse.

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