Rev. Jerold ("Jerry") W. Lindner, s.j.
Summary of Case: A priest of the California province of the Jesuit order, Lindner is accused of the sexual abuse of at least 12 children, ages 4-11, male and female. His accusers include his own sister, three nieces and a nephew. His abusive behavior is said to have first been discovered when he was a 10 year-old boy, in the 1950s, when his mother walked in on him molesting his 5-year-old sister. The Jesuits claim to have first learned of Lindner's alleged behavior in 1992 when Lindner's brother reported to them that Lindner had sexually abused his daughters. Lindner was sent for a psychiatric evaluation, the Jesuits deemed the allegations to be not credible, and he was put back in ministry. In 1997 Lindner was removed from ministry and sent to treatment after a man told the Jesuits that he and his brother were sexually assaulted by Lindner in 1975, when the boys were 7 and 4 years old. Lindner is said to have sodomized them, forced them to perform oral sex on each other, and to have threatened them. Lindner has denied all accusations. In May 2010 the man who accused Lindner of sexually assaulting him and his little brother in 1975 physically assaulted Lindner at a Jesuit retirement center in Los Gatos, CA, where Lindner was living. The man was arrested, and pleaded "not guilty". His trial began June 20, 2012; he was acquitted July 5, 2012.
|1964||1966||Sacred Heart Novitiate||Los Gatos||CA||seminarian||Lindner began his Jesuit formation in 1964.|
|1968||Loyola University||Los Angeles||CA||student/seminarian|
|1968||1970||St. Louis University||St. Louis||MO||graduate student/seminarian||Lindner was active with an urban boy scout troop while in St. Louis. His brother said Lindner took over an abandoned St. Louis house and made it into a home for homeless boys. Fr. Jerry Lindner lived there with the boys. Lindner's family indicated that he left St. Louis "under a cloud".|
|1970||1973||St. Ignatius College Prep.||San Francisco||CA||teacher/seminarian|
|1973||1976||Jesuit School of Theology||Berkeley||CA||graduate student/seminarian||Lindner was ordained at JSTB in 1976.|
California Jesuit Provincial was Rev. Terrance L. Mahan, s.j. (1976-1982)
San Francisco archbishop was Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962-1977), follwed by John Raphael Qyinn (1977-1995)
Oakland bishops were (Floyd Lawrence Begin (1962-1977), followed by John Stephen Cummins (1977-2003)
|1982||St. Ignatius College Prep.||
• Lindner is was accused of molesting at least six children during this time. One accuser was his nephew, who said Lindner sexually abused him repeatedly when he was 5 to 9 years old, in Arizona and in Berkeley, CA.
• A man who came forward in 1997 accused Lindner of sexually assaulting him and his younger brother during Christian Family Movement camping trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1975, when the brothers were ages 4 and 7. The abuse is said to have included sodomy and forcing the brothers to orally copulate each other, while Lindner watched. The older brother said Lindner threatened to hurt his younger brother if he didn't comply. The younger brother said Lindner threatened to kill him. Lindner also is said to have told the boys they would go to hell if they told. The older brother said, "[Lindner] destroyed my life." Lynch denied abusing anyone.
• A woman in 2002 stated that when she was a 7-year-old girl in 1977 Lindner grabbed her, rubbing her up and down her body and kissing her "really passionately" while moaning. The assault is said to have occurred in her family's Oakland home.
• Another woman accused Lindner of sexually assaulting her in 1976 when she was 10 years old, in her family's home in Oakland. Lindner was there to say mass for the family.
• A nephew of Lindner disclosed having been sexually abused by his uncle for several nights during a family reunion in Arizona, when the boy was about 11 years old, in 1979.
• In a 2003 lawsuit, Lindner was accused of molesting a girl at Corpus Christi parish in Piedmont, CA while he was a St. Ignatius teacher.
|CA||English teacher||St. Ignatius was a Jesuit high school with 1,209-1,162 students, all male.|
|1982||Boy Scouts||Oakland||CA||Scoutmaster||Lindner took boys on weekend camping and ski trips.|
|mid-1970s||1979||Christian Family Movement||Oakland||CA||
|Lindner said mass in people's homes, heard confessions, attended monthly parent meetings and took families on weekend camping trips. It was on several of these trips that he is said to have sexually assaulted two little boys.|
Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985), followed by Roger Michael Mahony (1985-2011)
Mahan was succeeded as California Jesuit Provincial by John W. Clark (1982-1988), followed by Rev. Paul Belcher, s.j. (1988-1993). Belcher was replaced by John A. Privett (1993-1999)
|1997||Loyola High School||
• Lindner was accused of molesting his brother's three young daughters in 1982, in their Los Angeles home. Two of the sisters said he would stick his tongue in their mouths. The youngest said he sodomized her three times, when she was 5 to 7 years old. She said he yelled, grabbed her hair, called her "dirty", and said "Bad things happen to little girls who open their mouths." She said he ruined her life.
English department Chair
Lindner was praised by the Loyola administration for his devotion to his students. He preferred to work with Freshman, and organized activities called "Lindner clubs", which included archery, backgammon, chess and a fantasy role-playing game. He also took boys on trips, including to Europe.
Loyola was a Jesuit high school with 1,071- 1,183 students, all male.
The Jesuits claimed to have first learned about allegations against Lindner in 1992 when Lindner's brother told them he had sexually abused three nieces, a nephew and a younger sister, and that his abusive behavior started when he was a child in the 1950s. The Jesuits sent Lindner to St. Luke Institute in Maryland for a psychiatric evaluation, deemed the allegations to be not credible, and put him back in ministry. Lindner's mother in 2002 stated that she believed the allegations against her son, and that "If he wasn't a priest and didn't have the Jesuits standing behind him, I think he would be in jail."
|1982||1998||St. Thomas the Apostle||Los Angeles||CA||assistant scoutmaster to Boy Scout troop|
|Sept. 1997||May 1998||St. Luke Institute||Silver Spring||MD||patient||
Lindner is not indexed in the 1998 Directory, nor is he listed in the diocesan pages at his previous or next assignment.
Lindner was removed from ministry in late May 1997, after two brothers came forward to allege that Lindner sodomized them when they were little boys on weekend Christian Family Movement retreats. The brothers filed suit; the Jesuits settled with them on the condition that they not publicize the allegations. One of the brothers said there was no admission of wrongdoing or apology.
|May 1998||Loyola High School||Los Angeles||CA||In residence.||Lindner was allowed to continue with his involvement with the Boy Scouts at nearby St. Thomas church after his 1997-1998 stay at St. Luke's Institute. The St. Thomas' pastor said he hadn't been told about the allegations against Lindner.|
San Jose bishop was Roland Pierre DuMaine (1981-1999), succeeded by Patrick Joseph McGrath (1999-)
California Jesuit Provincial was Thomas H. Smolich (1999-2005)
|2002||Jesuit Retreat House||Los Altos||CA||Lindner was barred from teaching at Loyola after the 1997 allegations. He was, however, allowed to travel and work as a language tutor. He earned a Master's Degree in linguistics at San Jose State, spent a few months in Paris to immerse himself in French culture, and taught English to foreign seminarians in California. He also was hired tin 2001 to teach English as a Second Language at Cal.State Dominguez Hills. That program's director in 2002 said he had not been informed of Lindner's background.|
Rev. John McGarry, s.j. succeeded Smolich as California Jesuit Provincial (2005-2011). Michael F. Weller, s.j. replaced McGarry (2011-)
|2012||Sacred Heart Jesuit Center||Los Gatos||CA||
In Dec. 2002 the CA Jesuit Provincial, Tom Smolich, said Lindner was barred from ministry with children and was not allowed to say Mass or hear confession in church, "For Jerry's sake and the public's sake."
Its website in June 2012 states, "Sacred Heart Jesuit Center (SHJC) houses independent seniors as well as those in need of assisted living or skilled nursing." Rev. Smolich stated in Dec. 2002, "...it's a safe house for people accused of these actions." This was in reference to Lindner's transfer to SHJC. Smolich said also Lindner's "movements are supervised."
In May 2010 a man physically assaulted Lindner at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center. Lindner's assailant had accused Lindner in 1997 of raping and sodomizing him and his brother when they were ages 4 and 7. Lindner sustained bruises and several small cuts in the beating. His assailant was arrested after surrendering in October 2010. He pleaded not guilty to the charges of "felony assault with intent to cause great bodily injury and one count of elder abuse under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death." Lindner's assailant's trial began June 20, 2012. He was acquitted.
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1977-2011)