First-ever U.S. Trial of Catholic Official for Covering up Sex Abuse

February 19, 2012

William Lynn, (photo: Philadelphia District Attorney's Office)

Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia archdiocese is about to become the first Catholic official in the U.S. to stand trial for his actions during the child sex abuse scandal that rocked churches across the country.

With jury selection scheduled to begin February 21, Lynn is charged with endangering the welfare of young men who were allegedly raped by priests and with conspiracy to cover up the abuse.

Other senior Catholic officials have been criminally charged for allegedly covering up sex abuse claims, but Lynn is the first to go to trial.

In his position as head of the archdiocese, Lynn was informed of numerous cases of young men claiming to have been sexually abused by priests. During two grand jury investigations, Lynn admitted that he allowed some allegations to “fall through the cracks” and said he was unwilling to tell local parishioners about certain allegations.

The charges against him stem from two cases involving men who say they were raped when they were 10 and 14.








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