Ex-church official gets new trial date, 2 days after leaving prison
Posted: Aug 04 2016 06:10AM EDT
Updated: Aug 04 2016 09:13PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) -
A former Philadelphia church official has been given a retrial date, two days after he was released from prison when his child-endangerment conviction was overturned.
Thursday, a judge set a May 1 trial date for Monsignor William Lynn, who appeared in court but didn't speak.
Lynn was the first church official ever charged or convicted over his handling of complaints that priests were molesting children.
He was charged with endangering a boy by transferring a suspected predator-priest to his parish in the late 1990s.
The accuser in Lynn's case, a former altar boy who said he was raped by two priests and his fifth-grade teacher, has since settled a civil lawsuit against the archdiocese.
CLICK HERE to watch legal analysis from after his release, earlier this week.
The conviction has twice been overturned, most recently when the state's top court said the trial judge let too many church victims not directly linked to the case testify.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams insisted on retrying the case after Lynn was released.
The 65-year-old has served all but three months of his three-year sentence since his high-profile 2012 trial, so he cannot be sentenced to more than three months if convicted again.
Prosecutors expect about a month-long trial -- much shorter than his high-profile 2012 trial that lasted three months.
Lynn has been free on bail and living with relatives for the past few days.
Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:
"A trial date has been set for the only US Catholic official to ever do jail time for hiding and enabling child sex crimes. So now it’s time for church staff to stop protecting Msgr. William Lynn like Lynn protected predator priests. It’s time for every current and former church employee – from bookkeeper to bishop – who has information or suspicions about Msgr. Lynn’s complicity to overcome their fears, do their duty and call Philly prosecutors.
"'This is excessively punitive,' some will claim. They’re wrong. This is about smart deterrence and simple justice. All of us have a duty to safeguard kids by holding those who don’t responsible for their wrongdoing.
"No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface."