Lawyers to ask house arrest for priest while awaiting sentencing
A court hearing to determine whether a high-ranking cleric convicted of child endangerment will be placed under house arrest rather than jailed until his sentencing in August was delayed Monday until Tuesday.
Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty Friday of one count of child endangerment, the first time a U.S. church leader has been convicted of such a charge.
He was found not guilty on a second count of endangerment and on a charge of conspiring to protect a priest accused of abuse.
The jury was unable to bring a verdict against Lynn’s co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old altar boy and endangering the welfare of a child.
Lynn was taken into custody after the verdict Friday, when the judge revoked his bail. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lindy, criticized the decision not to let his client remain free on bond prior to sentencing, calling it “an unspeakable miscarriage of justice (for) a 61-year-old man with no prior record and long-established ties to the community.”
He is to be sentenced August 13 and could face up to seven years in prison for his conviction on a third-degree felony.
The trial marked the first time U.S. prosecutors have charged not just the priests who allegedly committed abuses but also church leaders for failing to stop them. Lynn is the highest-ranking cleric accused of imperiling children by helping cover up sexual abuse. [more]