D.A. Williams wants Monsignor Lynn decision reargued


PhillyVoice Staff

District Attorney Seth Williams is filing paperwork to reargue the case against Monsignor William Lynn, a convicted Catholic priest who was awarded a new trial last week by a Pennsylvania appeals court.

Williams is expected to formally announce Monday his response to the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s decision, which has ruled Lynn did not receive a fair trial when he was convicted of mishandling reports of child sex crimes. The court ruled the trial judge allowed jurors to hear too much evidence about the wrongdoing of priests who had abused children.

Lynn once oversaw the work of 800 priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as secretary of the clergy. He was sentenced in 2012 to three to six years in prison for failing to supervise a priest accused of sexual misconduct who later sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy.

At the time of his conviction, Lynn was the highest-ranking Catholic priest to face charges for covering up abuse by priests. His trial refocused attention on a sex abuse scandal that roiled the faithful across the United States and undermined the church’s moral authority around the world.

Victims groups decried the court’s decision, saying Lynn was a key part of a Catholic hierarchy that put the careers of priests above the safety of children.

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