Court Reverses Milestone Conviction in Priest Abuse
Catholic Church official who supervised guilty priest wins on appeal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2013 6:00 PM CST
Monsignor William Lynn.   (Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – A Roman Catholic church official who has been jailed for more than a year for his handling of priest sex-abuse complaints had his landmark conviction reversed today. A three-judge Superior Court panel unanimously rejected prosecution arguments that Monsignor William Lynn, the first US church official ever charged or convicted for the handling of clergy-abuse complaints, was legally responsible for an abused boy's welfare in the late 1990s. The original conviction held him responsible because he had supervised a priest who was later found guilty of abuse, but the panel said today that the law should have applied only to those who worked directly with kids, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Lynn, 62, has been serving a three- to six-year prison sentence after his child-endangerment conviction last year. His lawyers hope he can be freed in the next few days, but that issue remains unsettled as the state prepares its next move, an expected appeal. "It's the right result, and it's the right decision," says his lawyer. "It's unfortunate that he had to spend 18 months in prison before we got it." The state DA countered that he is "disappointed and strongly disagree with the court's decision."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Dec 27, 2013 2:55 AM CST
Somebody got a fistful of cash...
Dec 26, 2013 8:55 PM CST
Good news for the Penn State football program.
Dec 26, 2013 8:45 PM CST
First Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; First Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.