Sunday, April 28, 2013
By Ralph Cipriano
During the trial last year of Msgr. William J. Lynn, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington advised the jury to pay attention to the judge’s instructions, and to not be swayed by Lynn’s “very skillful, very crafty, very well paid defense attorneys.”
Blessington’s comments, as well as the judge’s absence of admonishment, are among the more colorful issues being argued in more than 300 pages of appeals court documents filed in Superior Court.
On April 12, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina filed a 235-page opinion, defending her handling of the 13-week trial that resulted in the June 22, 2012 conviction of Msgr. Lynn on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. The monsignor is now serving a three-to-six year prison term imposed by Judge Sarmina.
In her opinion, Judge Sarmina defended the rhetorical excesses of the prosecutor, as well as her decision to allow into the Lynn case 21 supplemental cases of previous sex abuse, dating back to 1948, three years before Lynn was born, to show a pattern of bad behavior in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
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