DA to appeal court’s decision to overturn conviction of Catholic priest


By Luisa Navarro, CNN
updated 5:03 PM EST, Mon December 30, 2013

(CNN) — Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said Monday he will appeal a Superior Court’s decision to reverse Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction for covering up crimes of offending priests.

A three-judge panel ruled Thursday that Lynn — who had been the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States to be convicted of covering up the abuses of others — should be released, reversing his 2012 conviction for one count of child endangerment. He originally was sentenced to three to six years.

“There is something wrong with this Superior Court panel,” Williams said.

Lynn’s conviction was for not removing a defrocked priest, Edward Avery, from active ministry in the 1990s after learning Avery had molested a teen. Avery pleaded guilty in March 2012 to sexually assaulting the 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-99 school year and remains in prison.

Williams adamantly expressed his disapproval of the Superior Court’s decision.

“I am disgusted by the Superior Court’s cavalier, disregard for the child victims of pedophile priests and Monsignor Lynn’s role,” Williams told reporters. “Monsignor William Lynn knew Father Avery had sexually molested children.”

Lynn’s attorneys had convinced the Superior Court panel that the laws at the time only applied to people who directly supervised children.

“Certainly, he (Williams) has a prerogative to appeal. I don’t think his appeal will be successful, but he certainly has the right,” Lynn’s attorney, Thomas Bergstrom said.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.