Last updated: Friday, May 1, 2015, 1:08 AM
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015, 10:11 AM
Lynn turned to Bergstrom with a half-smile and a shrug before he was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies.
Bergstrom argued that Lynn should be permitted to stay at St. William under house arrest while he pursues further appeals. Bergstrom said Lynn had lived up to every provision of house arrest, and a probation officer lauded Lynn’s conduct.
Sarmina, however, agreed with Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington that now that the state’s highest court has ruled, Lynn should be in prison.
“Well, I think things are back where they were when I sentenced Msgr. Lynn,” Sarmina said. “The same reasons I stated then exist.”
“Somebody call for a sheriff,” the judge added before leaving the bench.
Lynn was convicted and sentenced after a landmark 13-week trial in 2012 over his role supervising priests accused of sexually abusing children.
As the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, Lynn was responsible for investigating sexual-abuse complaints made against priests and recommending punishment to the archbishop.
The jury found that Lynn allowed Rev. Edward V. Avery, who had a history of sexually abusing children, to live in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory, where he later assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. Avery pleaded guilty in the 1999 attack and is serving five years in prison.
Lynn argued in his appeal that he could not be convicted for his supervisory role because the state child-endangerment statute was not amended to include supervisors until 2007 – three years after he left as clergy secretary.
30 April 2015
David DeKok Reuters
A high-ranking Catholic church official in Philadelphia was ordered back to prison on Thursday following the reinstatement of his conviction for turning a blind eye to child sex abuse by pedophile priests.
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Teresa Sarmina revoked bail for Monsignor William Lynn, 64, and ordered him back behind bars.
Sarmina, who presided over his criminal trial, had sentenced Lynn in 2012 to three to six years in prison for endangering the welfare of children.
One of the highest-ranking clergyman convicted in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal, Lynn is the first church official sent to prison for mishandling sexual misconduct complaints against priests.
Lynn, former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese who oversaw the work of 800 priests, was convicted of failing to supervise a pedophile priest who eventually sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999. He was found guilty of covering up sex abuse, often by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week reinstated Lynn’s conviction, which had been overturned by a mid-level state appellate court. The appellate court had freed him in 2013 after serving about 18 months, and he has been under house arrest while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet since then.
The Supreme Court found Lynn legally responsible for the “welfare of children” even though he did not directly supervise children but rather supervised priests in direct contact with children.
Lynn’s attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, told Reuters he would seek to have Lynn’s bail restored.
“I’m going to file an emergency petition with the Superior Court,’ Bergstrom said, referring to the mid-level appellate court.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Will Dunham)