Shock: Is SNAP Advocating Violence Against Elderly Accused Priests?

Joey Piscitelli SNAP

Joey Piscitelli from SNAP

Why is SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) appearing to support a brutal attack on an elderly priest accused of abuse?

On May 10, 2010, Will Lynch, then 43, used a ruse to enter a retirement home for retired priests. He then violently pummeled 65-year-old Rev. Jerold Lindner in front of shocked witnesses until the priest was bruised and bloody.

Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court (Calif.), the criminal trial against Lynch began. Prosecutors are charging Lynch with felony assault and elder abuse.

What was Lynch's motive for bludgeoning the defenseless cleric? Lynch forcefully claims that Rev. Lindner molested him and his brother during a camping trip in 1975.

Lindner has repeatedly denied abusing anyone and has never been criminally charged for abuse. However, Will Lynch and his brother received a $625,000 settlement from the priest's Jesuit order in 1998 based on the accusations. In addition, numerous others have come forward to say Lindner abused them, including family members. It also seems that even the prosecution in the current case against Lynch believes that Lindner is an abuser. (There's more; see our Nov. 2010 post.)

This entire episode is troubling indeed. While justice and compassion must be demanded for victims of clergy abuse, neither cause justifies violently thrashing an alleged abuser decades after alleged abuse has occurred.

Enter SNAP

SNAP, on the other hand, appears to be sending the message that Rev. Lindner's beating was justified. A significant number of demonstrators appeared outside the San Jose courthouse in support of Will Lynch and against Rev. Lindner. (See The San Jose Mercury News' curiously large 32-photo gallery of the first day of the trial.)

One of the many attendants in support of Will Lynch was Joey Piscitelli, the Northern California Director of SNAP. (Piscitelli, by the way, is a self-proclaimed pagan witch.) The SNAP leader addressed a small throng of newspaper, radio, and television outlets.

Why is SNAP appearing at a venue in open support for an individual who walloped a 65-year-old priest in a retirement home?

As we wrote in 2010, SNAP should condemn this brutal attack. The Lynch-Lindner trial has become a high-profile case, and SNAP's silence is notable.

Whereas SNAP often issues comments and statements about cases no matter how obscure, observers are left with with the impression that Lynch's assault on Lindner was justifiable.


  1. Julie says:

    SNAP is despicable. Reporters may as well go to Jack Chick for comments on Catholic issues.

    • Jane Somerville says:

      Hmm. What about priests who rape seven and four year old boys and their niece and nephew as Lindner did? Lindner's own brother, a cop, turned Lindner in for raping his kids. But the statute of limitations had passed.

  2. Publion says:

    I have followed the links and looked at all the news articles from the local paper (San Jose ‘Mercury News’); they are extensive and comprehensive, as these things go. These are my thoughts on the matter as it has progressed to date.
    As always with this type of case, especially in this curious case that is simultaneous with the Philadelphia trial gambit, there are ‘complications’. Oddly, for an assault case, it has taken two years to reach trial, which it suddenly did a week or so ago.
    In May of 2010, the priest, Jerold Lindner, now 68 – then 65, was tricked into coming down to meet a 40-ish male visitor at his retirement home, a religious facility in the hills above Los Gatos, CA. The priest had been sent there after, among other accusations of abuse, his Order had paid a quarter of a million or so to two brothers in 1998, as a settlement of their claims he molested them both in 1975. At some point (whether immediately or after a conversation of several minutes is in question) the visitor who had claimed to be a relative coming to inform the priest of a death in the family attacked the old man, punching him badly enough to require medical attention and stitches.
    It now turns out that the man, William Lynch, was one of the brothers who had netted (after attorney fees) $187,000 each in 1998 in that settlement. (Fees of 30 percent are standard – you can do the math, plus expenses.)
    The trial was derailed on opening day when the prosecutor told the jury in her opening address that her star witness (Lindner, who had been assaulted) would probably lie on the stand and say he didn’t abuse the two boys in 1975. (How could she know that or claim it officially since the 1975 incident never went to a trial and Lindner – as far as I can tell from the reports – has always denied the incident?  If he had already formally admitted his guilt, why on earth would he deny it now with any expectation he could get away with it?)
    At that juncture, the defense quickly filed a motion for mistrial on the grounds that if the prosecution knowingly allowed perjurious testimony by one of its witnesses (who is, formally, the ‘victim’ in this case) then their client (the attacker, Lynch) is being denied due-process under the XIV Amendment.
    And at this point today, then, the whole case may disappear in a puff of smoke on the basis of  truly weird behavior by the prosecutor vis-à-vis the victim of the charged crime, and a truly novel gambit by the defense to get their client off without a scratch (as it were). And, to my mind, the mutually-supporting weirdnesses happened so quickly that it almost seemed scripted.
    But it gets worse.
    The attacker gave a press conference at the ritzy Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco. His photo shows a well-kempt, well-dressed, self-possessed and well-nourished early-middle age Caucasian male; his remarks indicate an impressive ability to express himself; and the press conference was called to order, as noted, in the very posh surroundings of the 15th floor of the Mark Hopkins.
    Yet the story he tells is that he was wrecked as a child and a human being from the night of a camping trip where Lindner allegedly molested his younger (age 4 at the time) brother and sodomized him (age 7 at the time): behavioral problems, alcohol abuse or worse – and all of it developing so suddenly that his parents couldn’t figure it out. “He totally broke me”, reports Lynch, and “I can’t stand to be living as me”.
    Very much the standard-presentation.
    But he claims he did not go to the retirement facility that day with the intention of beating the priest. (Left unasked, apparently, is why he chose to go at all.) He claims he was enraged when, without identifying himself (the old man had been told by the receptionist he was a relative), he asked the old man if he recognized him (after 37 years?) and then – but of course – ‘lost it’.
    What is going on here? A couple of things seem relevant to me.
    Lynch claims that he had to take action because the Statute of Limitations never allowed him to pursue legal redress in the criminal justice system. And, he says, he couldn’t allow this man to go on potentially molesting others (although the old man is almost 70, overweight, and lives on a high hill outside of town).
    The newspaper reporter opines that Lynch is “trying [Lindner] in the court of public opinion”. Which sounds very much like the gambit at Philadelphia: the trial is used as a pretext for just getting inflammatory accusations ‘out there’ in a free (except for the Philadelphia taxpayers) tsunami of publicity.
    But Lynch also says “Honestly, I could kill him with my bare hands, but I really want the church to be accountable. We are coming into an era where these guys are being prosecuted." Which a) supports the idea that he had a criminal plan when he went alone to the retirement facility. And b) raises more questions because in 2010 it wasn’t so true about the prosecutions, yet – in a weird coincidence – it is true as the case (again, weirdly) comes to trial 2 entire years later, just about Philadelphia trial time. (Although I am guessing that if there was a plan, it would have been that Philadelphia would have been a slam-dunk, total success for the prosecution, and this case would have come down the pike a week or so after Philly wrapped up in a blaze of – as it were – glory.)
    Cadres of SNAP-types have showed up to support him, and no surprise there.
    This may well have to do with trying some agitprop to get the California statutes-of-limitations changed and/or drumming up some public approval for a wave of trials there.
    But there’s just too much weirdness about the whole thing. But also a method in the madness. Lynch claimed he was willing to go to jail in order to protect others who might be molested. And yet his defense counsel quickly introduced a motion – after being given an amazing opening by the prosecutor who turned on her own ‘victim’ – and Lynch may well get the desired publicity without the conviction for an assault that surely seems no random event.
    Worse – and I saw approving comments to this effect here and there in comments about the Philly trial – is this going to set off a wave of not-quite-random attacks by alleged victims against priests who have never been proven to have abused them? It will certainly garner publicity and ‘raise consciousness’ – which seems to be the primary objective.

  3. Ken W. says:

    It is obvious that the settlement monies had no healing effect. SNAP teaches victims to remain victims. If they were not victims to begin with, what the heck?!?! SNAP will teach them -how- to be a victim, anyway. 
    The parallels between SNAP's use of deceptive propaganda and how Goebbels used those exact same techniques are just plain sick. What is even sicker is the number of unsuspecting people who buy into the emotional shrill that is devoid of scrutiny and facts.

  4. Joey Piscitelli says:

       Is being a pagan a crime? I was under the impression that the 1st ammendment covers all beliefs.
    You're not a bigot are you? By the way, the Inquisition is over.
    SNAP and Joey Piscitelli  never said they support violence, and they never said they support  beating up the serial pedophile molester Fr. Jerold Lindner. You use the words "appear to support a brutal attack" because you know better than to say that SNAP and Joey Piscitelli "do" support violence. Clever, and very wise. It's also clever to say "Is SNAP advocating violence"  –  instead of SNAP is advocating violence.
    If I were you, I would continue to word your media report carefully, as you are doing. I'm pretty sure you will erase this, but I'm glad you will read it first.
    peace and magick,
    Joey Piscitelli
    BTW -I'm proud to be a survivor, a pagan, and an advocate for clergy abuse victims. You should learn to care about kids who were raped, molested, violated, and destroyed by  unconscionable clergy molesters.

    • says:

      Thank you for commenting, Joey.

      1. Being pagan is not a crime. I never said it was.

      2. No, I am not a “bigot.”

      3. You wrote, “You should learn to care about kids who were raped, molested …” Yes, we do: :: About.

      I am still wondering why SNAP has not issued a media statement or press release publicly condemning this attack. (At least I have not seen one yet.)

      Dave Pierre


    • Pat says:

      Joey you did not take logic in college did you? 
      Please adress the subject of the post and refrain from irrelevant issues and personal attacks.  Do you or do you not condone violence?   And if you say you don't, why are you out cheering on this man who brutally attacked another man?

    • Ken W. says:

      SNAP DOES support violence, they just do it in a passive way that keeps them out of direct involvement. The proof is in the comments sections of news releases like this. It is also proof that SNAP fosters and encourages a victim/mob mentality. 
      Joey, I agree with you on the use of rhetorical devices that begin with "it seems…" or "it appears…" I do not care for those type of rhetorical devices. Tell you what: I will ask the Media Report to stop using those rhetorical devices if you ask SNAP hierarchy to do the same. SNAP press releases is CLUTTERED with such rhetorical devices. 
      Speaking of rhetorical devices, with the facts that are available to us, you have NO business stating as "fact" that Fr. Lindner is a serial pedophile. I have seen SNAP lob that same slander against priests who emphatically deny the allegations, and I have seen SNAP maintain that same slander -after- accused priests have been exhonerated. This does not enhace your credibility, it in fact seriously hampers it.

  5. Joey Piscitelli says:

      Hello again.
    In response  to David, why would you bring up the fact that I'm pagan, what would that have to do with Fr. Lindner being a child rapist or not? If I'm Italian, or black, or whatever – it has no bearing on the case. You brought up the fact that I was pagan for a specific reason, we know what that was for.
    In answer to Pats question, I did not take "logic" in college. However I am a member of SF Mensa, and have been for 40 years. Thanks to two forensic church ordered psycholigist IQ tests in 2006, when I sued the church for child molestation, I scored 142, and 138 on two separate tests. Look up the value of those scores on the net.I hope that answers the question.You asked it.
    2nd answer to Pats question. I do not condone violence, the proof of which is in my criminal record , which is spotless for 57 years. I do not say that Will Lynch should have used violence, but I do understand anger. You would be angry if your son was sodomized at age 7, and forced to have sex by a priest with your 4 year old brother. If that did not make you angry, it would be very strange.
    Lindners own prosecuter, Vicki Gemetti, who represents the case against Lynch, stated for the record – as an officer of the court – that Lindner is a molester, and that he did molest Will Lynch, his little brother, and several others. She also said Lindner is going to LIE about it. The reason she said that, is probably based on the settlement agreements in the former lawsuits against Lindner, wheras the Jesuits admitted Lindner was a molester.
    That said, I do not think that child rape victims should go and punch serial rapist sociopath clergy in the head, but I do understand the rage and sufferring the victims go through. It's a human emotional response.  
    And I do not go to support Will Lynch because he hit Lindner, I support him and all of Lindners victims because I stand in solidarity with human beings who have been unjustly violated and raped - child abuse has long term effects that are devasting. Dave Pierre is very intelligent, and I know he understands this.I do not think violence corrects violence. But the mass violence against children by the clergy is repulsive.
    And lastly, I do agree with the prosecuter that Lindner is a sickning, unconscionable child rapist, sodomizer, molester, and that he has no conscience, and he is a sociopath. If this is not true, then I think Lindner should sue me. He should exercise his right to sue me for slander and libel.
    I do not control SNAPs official statements, I am only a only a non- paid volunteer in the SF Bay Area. But they did make an official statement saying they don't condone violence, and they urged other suffering lindner victims to come forward to police.
    And thank you for printing my response. And if you really do care about kids that have neen raped and molested – thank you for that support, it is very noble.
    Peace and magick to you,

  6. Publion says:

    Questions have been on my mind: why did Lynch go to Lindner's secluded residence at all? And why, after 37 years, or 14 years if you count from the year of the cash settlement. And how did Lynch track down Lindner in the first place?
    Something occurred to me  today: in mid-May, Santa Clara University (run by Jesuits, in Santa Clara, which is in the same county that this attack took place) held a clerical-abuse symposium. You can read it about it here:
    The conference speakers included  somebody from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice as well as Fr. Richard Sipe and Barbara Blaine from SNAP. It was part of a publicity project for a new book out about the Catholic Clerical Abuse matter.
    It's a curious coincidence: that an assault case takes 2 years to come to trial in a venue like Santa Clara County, and that when it does it happens to be almost contemporaneous with the Philly trial and a clerical-abuse conference run just down the road from where the assault was carried out.
    The Conference, taking place in May 2012, clearly was not causally involved in the assault, which was carried out in May, 2010. But the trial started up after the Conference, and included in the trial is that odd prosecutorial maneuver and the defense's immedate deployment of a novel theory as to how Lyncyh might get out of any prosecution for his assault.

  7. Publion says:

    Also, regarding Mr. Piscitelli's comments:

    Since the MENSA membership list is not available for public review, and since raw IQ scores are of themselves indicative of far less than is popularly ascribed to them anyway, I will continue to simply read his comments and go with ideas expressed in them.

    'Anger' is often an element in crime; but 'understanding it' – while therapeutically constructive if appropriately deployed – doesn't really reach the matter of someone deliberately committing the crime itself. Taking both sides of the question (I do not condone violence but I understand anger) doesn't really reach the legal issues: a) did Lynch commit this assault and then b) does his 'anger' constitute sufficient mitigation for what cannot have been an accidental or random attack? Does the fact that one is angry (for whatever reason) sufficiently mitigate or justify the commission of such an assault and battery?

    From everything I’ve read it appears that there is no contest to the fact that Lynch committed this assault and battery. It seems to me, further, that it will be hard to convince a judge or jury that he did not go there without a palpable motivation for assault. Perhaps an emphasis on his ‘anger’ and on what Lindner (allegedly?) did to him and his brother will work in mitigation – but then, has it reliably been established that Lindner actually committed those acts?

    Here’s what I think happened in this case: from Day One two years ago it was a clear, open-and-shut premeditated assault and battery, but since the ‘victim’ was so odious in the eyes of even the prosecutors, the case was allowed to simply lie fallow as it were: nobody wanted to actually prosecute Lynch for the crime that he had clearly and deliberately committed against Lindner.

    But along comes 2012 and there’s the Philly case and just down the road the Santa Clara University conference, and so it offers the prosecutors and the victim-advocacies a chance to make some hay while the sun was shining: bring the case, let the prosecutor open with a questionable gambit, and then the defense counsel can deploy a theory so legally remarkable that it’s hard to believe they hadn’t given it a great deal of thought beforehand. The end result is that a) the judge might toss out the case against Lynch or – failing that – then b) the case is brought in an atmosphere of heightened local public agitation about clerical abuse and Lynch will get a lot more traction from his ‘anger’ as a mitigating (or even justifying) element.

    David Brinkley, in his book “Washington Goes to War”, recounts the story of an Army mule that fell down a ravine and was lost on field maneuvers in 1940 or early 1941. When all the paperwork was done, official reports indicated that the little beast had been carrying several tons of equipment: the regimental supply sergeant had seen in the mule’s death a sudden opportunity to clear off his books every piece of unexplained missing equipment the regiment had lost since the end of World War 1. And given the excitements agitating the country in 1940 and 1941, he got away with it.

  8. Fitasafiddle says:

    Father Lindner has been living the life of Riley in the beautiful grounds of the Jesuit House in Los Gatos, able to come and go as he pleases, still wearing a roman collar. His own mother has stated that he raped so many children that if he hadn't been a priest he would be in prison. Lindner had a long career as an educator long after his Jesuit superiors knew he was a child rapist, knew he had molested his own siblings. Just like Father Donald McGuire, S.J, who was Mother Theresa's spiritual advisor and is now in prison for child rape, Father Lindner S. J.  was allowed to flourish as a priest in good standing.
    Jesus, as you must remember, Mr. Pierre, cautioned those who hurt children that they would be better off with millstones around their necks in the bottom of the sea. All Father Lindner received were a few cuts and bruises.  By Jesus' standards he got off easy.

  9. Publion says:

    And once again, it appears that no priest-abuse trial winds up being conducted normally.
    As this link from yesterday shows
    the trial judge threw out the defense (i.e. the attacker, Lynch) Motion for a mistrial. That Motion was the result of a zig-zaggy gambit whereby the prosecutor told the jury outright that Lindner (victim of the assault and battery) would lie under oath on the witness stand and would claim that he had never sexually molested Lynch 37 years ago. Although, as the article points out, Lindner has never at any time confessed to those accusations.
    But then the judge also threw out the 40-minutes worth of testimony the priest (i.e. the victim, Lindner) had given last week as witness for the prosecution. When, according to the article, the priest suddenly invoked his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to answer more questions.
    I can’t see the legal relevance at this point in the trial of the whole (standard-script for the ‘victim’ narrative) bit about the alleged molestation in 1975. This is an assault-and-battery case and the only question is whether the attacker did or did not do so. And as far as I can make out, there is no doubt that the attacker committed the attack, since Lynch himself has admitted it publicly.
    Stories about 1975 would be relevant in the sentencing phase, as potential mitigating (or justifying) factors that would reduce a sentence for the crime clearly committed.
    But of course, all that has to do with conventional and upfront criminal process and criminal trials.
    And this is a priest-abuse trial, which is something else altogether apparently. The frame, the focus, the publicity, and the spin have to be kept on the poor victim (of the abuse, not the assault and battery). Thus the abuse-allegation story from 1975 has to be kept up front immediately and consistently. Lynch, in this playbook, cannot be allowed to be seen as the criminal attacker; he must be kept ‘in frame’ as the victim and that goal must be achieved and sustained by whatever means necessary.
    Perhaps Lindner realized that for priest-abuse trials there are different rules, and that strong forces were working toward turning the trial of the most certain assault-and-battery on him into a trial of him about allegations made concerning alleged events in 1975. (To get a sense of the time-frames here: 1975 is now 37 years ago; if you transfer the timeframes, then bringing such a gambit to court in 1975 would mean trying a man about an allegation that dealt with events alleged to have happened back in 1938; thus, say, from Gerald Ford’s administration back to FDR’s second term.)
    Weird but also shrewd, I would say. The first legal mistake was in allowing (and considering to be relevant) the allegations about 1975. The question for 2012 is whether Lynch did or did not commit the assault-and-battery (quite possibly premeditated) in 2010. The trial of that charge need not be sidetracked by the sideshow of the allegations about 1975.
    Unless somebody wants to argue that you can commit a criminal act but shouldn’t be held responsible and declared guilty for it if you were in enough “pain” (as they like to say).
    But that, I think, is exactly what the usual advocacy suspects are working towards here. In addition, of course, to their abiding strategic objective of using any criminal case they can induce any prosecutor to bring, merely as a pretext – and as a ‘mule’ – to carry their various bits and stories  into the public eye. Such as happened in the Philadelphia trial.
    And I would say that it is exactly this conflict between the actual requirements of constitutionally-conducted criminal justice and the requirements of the victim-advocate PR agenda that creates the abiding non-normality or abnormality in the course of these priest-abuse trials.
    My guess is that Lynch is expecting that once all the legal dust settles, he will ‘walk’ – perhaps without any conviction at all – while his allegations get wide public airing and amplification in the media. Should the relevance of the 1975 allegations be put aside, and he is in danger of being convicted on two counts of (possibly premeditated) assault-and-battery and assault and battery on an elder, he might feel more open about discussing what party or parties might have advised him or 'supported' him or even talked him into committing this crime. And I think that might make for some very interesting courtroom drama indeed.
    But for the moment, the prosecution has to go forward without a victim-witness to the assault and battery (although Lynch has already publicly said he did it in his press conference at the Mark Hopkins). And Lindner now looks like somebody who ‘took the Fifth’ – which in popular short-hand equates to being guilty.
    Nicely, there is a photograph accompanying the article: it is of a youngish middle-aged man in business suit coming down a set of marble-steps looking every inch the successful, buff, healthy, and on-the-rise young gentleman of affairs; perhaps a stockbroker leaving the Exchange or new lawyer at a major firm; like one of the actors on “Mad Men’, maybe. You have to read the caption to be told that this is Mr. Defendant Lynch, last seen reporting himself as having a wrecked life and hating to be himself.
    All in all, the judge took a stand for the integrity of the law: “Efficiency takes a back seat to due process” in criminal cases”. Which is profoundly accurate and true. But which has always stood in the way of the ‘efficiency’ of bringing satisfaction to self-proclaimed victims and creating more numbers and scare-headlines for their advocacies.

  10. Pete says:

    As a victim of clergy abuse, once sodomy in 8th grade by a priest who is a bishop today and again at age 9 by four priest working together. I never received a penny nor do I want the catholic church's filthy money. I do however understand the victims rage. One of those abused by my abuser committed suicide, his mother cried to her death. You see suicide is not a selfish thing as a victim is unable to access normal reasoning. It’s caused by a mental illness as a result of childhood trauma/
    A destroyed life is hard to accept. Imagine a child victim waking from the trauma caused by the abuse at age 40 or 50? And now to face a new trauma, realizing they  never lived a life. Concentration was lost at an early age and victims will constantly escape never realizing or knowing why. Scientists have discovered that many victims experience a physical change in the developing brain of a child abused. The same change found in those who have committed suicide. It's a horrible life and you just can't get past it completely.
    Emotions heighten as the brain blocks access to reasoning, as reasoning might reveal more horrifying experiences. You see, our brains are much like a computer that must constantly run or freeze. Freeze is death to a human. Heightened emotions become the click to keep the brain functioning. Sadly, the victim doesn't act normally during this heighten emotion phase that can happen at any moment. Lynch is obviously in a frozen state and is working on emotions at this time.
    Why the rage? Why haven't I? I've struggled and remind myself that the church is full of people on a selfish salvation trip and the vatican cares more for its money than children starving around the world. Yes, a taste of reality does help.

  11. Publion says:

    There are several significant complexities in the psychological and emotional assertions often made in connection with recovered memories of abuse, and a recent comment (by ‘Pete’) offers an opportunity to mention them.
    First, it is conceptually and clinically essential to establish a clear line of causality between a causal experience that somebody undergoes and an action later taken (or a behavior developed) by that person. It is not sufficient clinically (any more than it is historically) to assert that since A happened and then B, then A caused B (let alone that if B happened, there must have been A to cause it). If a therapist is going to design a therapeutic regimen (especially if drugs were going to be prescribed, as is often the case nowadays) then the cause of the patient’s presenting problem has to be clearly determined. Otherwise one might prescribe drugs merely to reduce the symptoms, but could not address the actual experience that caused the presenting-problem.
    Second, the idea of ‘recovered memory’ itself (for example: discovering only 40 or 50 years later that one had been abused, as the comment mentions) suffers  profound problems as a clinical theory.
    For one thing, the entire thrust of human information processing is that we remember noxious things, so as to avoid them. Thus, babies or toddlers do not forget what happens when they put their hand on a hot stove. Indeed, researchers have not even been able to identify any physical pathways in the architecture of the brain by which a vivid (or ‘traumatic’) memory can be forgotten, nor any neural repository in which such a memory can be stored. Let alone be stored, to be somehow recovered years or decades later, pristine and fresh and reliable as a current photograph. An infant who kept touching a hot stove would definitely be a candidate for neural examination and treatment because such a behavior would be a clear indication that the memory was not developing properly.
    For another thing, it is very difficult to distinguish between a memory that has been stored and a suggestion that was – even unintentionally – received at some later date.
    The memory is not a camera, but an active and constructive capability: meaning, it can put things together that may or may not reflect the actuality of what happened. Not long ago, for example, I arrived at a meeting without a thumb-drive I was certain I had put in my briefcase: I had a perfectly clear picture of having put it into my briefcase only an hour before. I searched the car, the briefcase, and retraced my steps all the way from the car to the conference room but it wasn’t there. When I got home that evening, there was the thumb-drive sitting on the desk, and yet I had had a crystal clear picture in my mind that morning of me putting the drive into the briefcase. Memory and expectation and desire somehow get bunched up and influence each other.
    And this is even more true of ‘traumatic’ experiences. One of the most profound problems with adapting the military PTSD experience to various other types of experience is that the original diagnosticians, thirty and more years ago, encountered soldiers who precisely had intrusive memories, not lack of memories: the problem wasn’t ‘forgetting’ combat experiences; it was precisely that they could not forget the experiences. This signature presenting-problem of PTSD is 180 degrees opposite of what is nowadays claimed by ‘recovered memory’ theorists; whatever is happening nowadays should not properly be called ‘PTSD’ because the actual PTSD diagnosis involved the opposite dynamic, not the same dynamic as is theorized in ‘recovered memory’.
    Lastly, it is of no small significance that we have not seen complaints of recovered-memory in other areas of human experience. So, for example, we have never seen a presenting-problem (or a lawsuit brought) because a person of any age (over 4 or 5) was a passenger in a motor vehicle in which the driver involved them both in a crash that caused deep injury; then forgot that; and then (as has been claimed in some abuse allegations) went back and rode as a passenger with the same driver having completely ‘forgotten’ the first accident. And then (as also has been claimed) repeated this sequence multiple times. And then finally, having forgotten all the crashes, suddenly recalls them all clearly years or decades later.
    That being said, repressed emotions are indeed a reality, and such repression can distort emotions and result in behaviors later on. But again, unless one is under the age of 4 or 5 (before that the memory capability is not well-formed in the still-underdeveloped human brain) there is little chance of a traumatic experience being completely repressed. One might forget what a grade-school classmate looked like years later, until something brings that image back to mind; but it doesn’t work that way with memories of genuinely traumatic experiences.
    I have seen it asserted that Holocaust survivors years later claimed that they did not recall their experiences of the camps, but those survivors interviewed were either very young when they were in the camps or very old when they tried to remember, both extremes of the life-span where the brain’s abilities are not well-functioning as a matter of course.
    Of course, what happens to a person in that first 4 or 5 years before the memory-capability has achieved a working-level of efficacy is not included here. But in that case, if the memory is thus at such an undeveloped level, it becomes a difficult question to answer: how does the person recall anything at all about the experience, and surely, the identity of somebody who caused the experience?
    And to conclude, Lynch in May 2010 clearly wasn’t working on a repressed-memory. He might have had repressed emotions, for which he might well have sought therapy ( I would be surprised if nobody suggested that to him in 1998 at the latest, especially if he attended victim-support groups). But in any circumstance, he is legally responsible for his actions in 2010 as a 42-year old adult. Unless he wants to mount an insanity (or ‘temporary insanity’) defense, but that would be a huge legal stretch.  It seems to me that once a person is aware of having undergone a traumatizing experience, then s/ he is under some responsibility to have at least a therapeutic check-up to see what’s up inside him/herself. To not do so would be to neglect oneself, it seems to me.

  12. Ken W. says:

    Pete, the countless scores of true victims of molestation, the ones who outnumber accusers of Catholic clergy by legions, the ones who actually faced their abusers, abusers that were not even Catholic, let alone a Catholic clergy………..why is it that -these- victims rarely, IF EVER, claim "repressed memory syndrome"? Quite frankly, I find that disparity to be good cause for a very high degree of scepticism when I I hear stories like yours. "repressed memory syndrome" is well on it's way to being completely debunked in the psych world, and when that happens, Jeff Anderson and the rest of his ilk will not care because they have already made their millions by exploiting voodoo psychology in a courtroom. 
    Abuse victims have no problem remembering the abuse that they suffered; they have a problem trying to forget it. 
    If you really were abused, 1st call the police, then call the ombudsman in the diocese where the abuse took place. It's really that simple.  If statute of limitations has run out in your state, realize this: there is no statute of limitations in canon law.  

    • Charlene says:

      Ken, you are so right!  "Abuse victims have no problem remembering the abuse that they suffered."  Time and time again I ask the so-called victims that SNAP dredges up, how could you forget being abused?!    I was abused – not by a priest – and I remember the entire situation every day.  There is no forgetting…ever.  I might wish, but I will never forget.  For any "victim" to say that he or she suddenly remembered a sexual assault, he or she is telling a bald-faced lie!  And anybody who believes them is an idjet!  

  13. Publion says:

    Well, things continue to develop in this very very odd but yet revealing case.
    You can take a look for yourself here:
    I had originally said that there aren’t too many options for the self-admitted attacker (Lynch) who assaulted his alleged abuser-molester, Lindner, in May 2010 for an incident alleged to have happened 35 years before in 1975 (when the attacker was 7).
    Lynch was clearly guilty of the assault-and-battery – and quite probably a premeditated attack at that – and in terms of his guilt there was no relevance to whatever he claims and alleges happened 35 years ago.
    But now we see that there is another option that has been revealed: ‘jury nullification’. This is a rarely-mentioned common-law power held by juries: they can, if they decide to, refuse to support the Charge(s) against a Defendant regardless of the evidence. The jury can in effect say: We don’t think this Defendant should have to bear the legal consequences attached to the Charge(s) and it doesn’t matter if there is evidence or even a confession indicating that he did it.
    There is now talk that this is the gambit the defense is going to play: hoping that the jury will ‘nullify’ the Charge(s) regardless of the evidence. Neat! Lynch walks and Lindner is – as the reporter said early on – “convicted in the court of public opinion”.
    For this you would need a particular type of jury. By amazing coincidence all of this case takes place in bosky and Correct Santa Clara County, just south of San Francisco. And by more amazing coincidence this case is suddenly brought to trial (after an amazing two-year delay) just a month after a the local Jesuit university ran a victim-friendly (and thus SNAP-friendly) symposium and almost simultaneously with the tail-end of the Philadelphia trial.
    Additionally, for that added dramatic oomph so helpful to the ‘script’, attacker-defendant Lynch claims that once he got into a room (under false pretenses) with his (intended?) victim Lindner, and had suddenly tossed out the Question (“Do you recognize me?”), the old man first “sagged” but then – and this is the pitch-perfect Hollywood bit – the old man suddenly “leered” at Lynch. And – but of course – it was exactly the same “leer” that Linder allegedly flashed that night 37 years ago (i.e. in the Administration of Gerald Ford). The only thing missing in this bit is that Lindner twirled his long handle-bar mustache and intoned "Bwa-ha-haaaa!".
    If the powerful coincidences and the dredging up of the rarely-mentioned ‘jury nullification’ power don’t get your whiskers twitching skeptically, then the script-perfect  “leer” should help you realize that something verrrrry premeditated and well-planned is going on in this case and this trial.
    This trial is, from a legal point of view, as urgently important as the Philly trial: if the jury ‘nullifies’ Lynch’s self-admitted (and quite possibly premeditated) assault-and-battery, then the precedent is established and allegators everywhere can consider themselves given a get-out-of-jail-free card: they can go and commit premeditated A&B on any priest or former priest (or any other person) whom they consider guilty of abusing them (in any way).
    Further, in my view, it is impossible that these two trials (Santa Clara County and Philly) – are mere coincidences. The timing, the location, and the legal moves involved all combine toward the Objective of intensifying attacks (and now literally physical attacks) on the Church and priests and former-priests. Even as the actual numbers of formal allegations indicate that the reforms of the past 10 years have had substantial good effect.
    And if somebody can get away with this against a priest, then can’t  anybody get away with this against just about anybody else? And for whatever ‘victimization’ the ‘traumatized’ attacker feels justifies such an assault?

  14. Publion says:

    I have come across articles on the Huffington Post and ABC that indicate a heartening development in this case: the judge is refusing to take the Philly-trial route and allow the admission of a phalanx of allegations and claims by others as to Linder’s abuses. Nor will he allow a Motion for a mistrial (the defense has made the Motion several times).
    This puts the defendants (i.e. the attacker in this case, Lynch) in a tight spot. By refusing to allow the parade of stories from a passel of other allegants, the judge has “gutted” the defense attorneys’ strategy, say the attorneys themselves.
    Which indicates – I would say – that all along this trial (like the Philly trial) was merely a pretext, constructed precisely and deliberately to somehow keep the ball rolling in the Catholic clerical abuse crisis by finding some way of getting old ‘stories’ publicized.
    That SNAP filing of a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court at The Hague (remember that?) was, I would say, much the same thing:  the accusations of Vatican ‘torture’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ merely being the theatrical ‘hooks’ upon which to hang more ‘stories’ and the scientific ‘evidence’ from ‘surveys’ of Europeans who might well look forward to the Catholic-Clerical-Abuse litigation piñata setting up shop in their countries.
    The judge – and this is a ray of sunlight indeed, speaking from a legal-principle and constitutional point of view even more than from a Catholic point of view – is having none of it. He is keeping this trial focused tightly and simply on the actual Charged crime itself.
    The objections are very much Standard-Script: the judge is “silencing” the “voices” of the ‘victimized’ (although as always this requires you to presume without question that their stories are true, much as Lynch no doubt expected would happen in this case).
    But there is a vital distinction between getting your voice ‘heard’ in the therapeutic forum and getting your voice ‘heard’ in the legal forum (especially in the criminal-legal forum). In the therapeutic forum, you are listened to empathetically with an eye toward the ultimate purpose of helping you process your experience and gain inner mastery of it. (Which, to a competent clinician, does not require ‘totally believing’ the presenting-story but rather working toward a better comprehension of how the presenting-story related to your interior state of psychic and emotional integrity.)
    Whereas in the juridical or judicial or legal forum, your being ‘heard’ will require the deployment of the court’s authority against another Citizen, perhaps leading to some officially-mandated loss of liberty, property, or even life.  Thus in the legal forum you must present credible evidence of the ‘story’ that you are ‘voicing’. There is no other way to base the action of the court and the Sovereign authority of coercion. To do otherwise will not only open the door to misapplication or mis-deployment of that awesome and awful Sovereign authority, but will also undermine the legitimacy of the court and the Sovereign authority itself.
    It is precisely here, I would say, that contemporary American ‘victim’ practice fundamentally confuses not only the issues but confuses itself. As you can see in the emotional tone of many comments on various sites, many folks cannot understand why courts don’t respond to their ‘stories’ as helpfully and with as warm an embrace as do members of a support-group or whatever ‘therapists’ or ‘experts’ might assure them that their ‘stories’ are true and thus good.
    The courts cannot (or should not): the legal forum is not the therapeutic forum.
    Vigilante justice – where persons who don’t feel they have been ‘heard’ decide to take matters into their own hands, such as was done in the Dark Ages – is a logical consequence of this confusion of the therapeutic and the juridical-legal forums.
    And that is what Lynch – as best I can see – did. (He even wore gloves to this encounter he had deceitfully gained with Lindner; and admits that he lied with a cover story to get to Lindner, because otherwise he knew he could not gain “access” to him.)
    But Lynch did more than confuse issues and exercise this new SNAP-related vigilante ‘justice’. He very much seems to have deliberately conceived and executed this planned assault that merges so neatly with what appears to be the new Phase of SNAP’s increasingly desperate attempt to keep the ball rolling.
    But the whole scheme requires the collusion of the legal system. And while that happened to great extent in Philadelphia, it appears that it is not happening in Santa Clara. The judge is keeping the focus tightly on the Charges against the accused and the evidence that is directly relevant to those Charges.
    This is how the legal forum is supposed to work. And despite several decades’ worth of ‘reforms’ that have worked toward diluting those first-principles of law, this judge is hewing to those principles and working to conduct constitutional (and evidence-based) justice.
    In what may be a sublime irony, perhaps this judge found his own integrity reinforced by observing the shenanigans of the Philadelphia trial and deciding that such a ‘show-trial’ was not going to take place on his watch.

  15. Julie says:

    I don't believe Piscatelli's claims about his intellect. Something sounds very hinky about his assertions.

  16. Jane Somerville says:

    It's not exactly your old people's retirement home, as they have priests in their forties and fifties there. Basically it's a place where they stash the pedophile priests who are no longer allowed to work there.
    And gee, if I was raped at age seven and saw my four year old brother being raped, and then forced to have sex with my brother, I don't know what I do.
    I do know that the majority of men in Calilfornia state prison have been molested as kids, and for many the abuse was the starting point for a life of crime. .. Better for Lynch to sock his rapist twice than for him to go out and rob someone else or kill someone or commit domestic violence.
    The jury will be deliberating for a third day tomorrow. Not a good sign for the DA's office.
    I am hoping for jury nullification

    • says:

      Jane Somerville wrote, “I do know that the majority of men in Calilfornia state prison have been molested as kids.”

      Very interesting. Do you have a source for this?

  17. Jane Somerville says:

    Actually Ken W, as a victim's advocate who has interviewed many male victims of abuse, what I have found that most victims repress a good portion of what happened to them, and possess one or two painful memories of abuse, when there might in fact have been instances of being abused seventy times.
    I know a man who was molested by a well known child psychiatrist in therapy. He turned out to be one of hundreds of victims. The man thought he only saw the therapist four times. But the records show he saw him for five years.

  18. Publion says:

    With all due respect to the commenter 'Jane Somerville', I think that what you see in the above exchanges is a classic example of the problem that infects so much of the victimist discourse: one or several sweeping assertions are made and an emotional 'conclusion' is thus clinched. Then, when asked for verification of the assertions, you get something that really doesn't do the job at all.
    So in this case: the Jesuit house on the hill in Los Gatos is not "basically a place where they stash the pedophile priests". There may be some there – how many more than the victim Lindner I don't know (nor, I imagine, does Somerville) – but it's also used for other purposes as well. Although what the relevance of its being a "retirement home" is in the first place isn't quite clear to me.
    Then there is the bit about the "majority of men" in the CA prison system being "molested as kids". Asked for verification (and Somerville responds to the request, which puts her in a class well above the usual victimist commenter), Somerville says that another commenter was/is a victim's-advocate and has "interviewed many male victims of abuse". In prison? Somerville doesn't say. And if in prison, how did the advocate distinguish between self-interested confabulation and truthful recall? And how, in the first place, did the advocate define "molesting"?
    All of this – to the SNAP-py mind – is just thinking-too-much and confusing-the-issue. Which is why, I would say, SNAP-pers are always so befuddled when their assertions aren't believed: they have very very low thresh-holds and criteria of verifying and logically-constructing their 'facts and numbers'.
    And I also point out the mimicry of scientific or professional style: "what I have found [is] that" … as if one were listening to a seasoned professional researcher or clinician making a formal report.
    And what Somerville claims to have "found" is that a)  "most victims repress a good portion of what happened to them" and that b) those same 'victims' possess one or two painful memories of abuse and that c) "there might in fact have been instances of being abused seventy times".
    But did Somerville thus do sufficient and sufficiently-careful research to justify the assertion that "most victims" repress all that "good portion"? And is Somerville distinguishing between a repressed memory of abuse and a repressed emotion about that memory? And the key to (c) is the (sly?) subjunctive mood of the verb: there may have been "seventy" (or seventy times seven) but by the same token there may have been zero-zip-zilch-nada instances of being abused in any specific patient or research-subject.
    Then lastly, the standard 'personal experience' of a single individual that by the most amazing coincidence just happens to fit every assertion the asserter is asserting.
    And the claim asserted is truly odd: that an adult (how old now? how old when he saw the child-psychiatrist? how much time intervened?) could recall only four visits although records "show" that the man saw that clinician "for five years" (weekly? monthly? annually? I doubt Somerville knows either).
    This, lastly, brings to light a new twist in the repressed memory Standard-Presentation: that some victims will (finally) recall one or several instances of  'abuse', but that actually there is 'proof' that there may have been many many more. This is selective and self-serving  insinuation masquerading as detached scientific induction.
    All very illuminating, I would say – but it establishes very little foundation for Somerville's assertions.
    And on the basis of that hodge-podge, Somerville then opines that she "doesnt know what I'd do" if she had gone through what Lynch had gone through. Gee whiz. Maybe she would have decided to remain law-abiding and not perpetrate a premediated A&B. Or maybe, as I believe Lynch did, she would decide that she could perpetrate the premeditated crime and then claim that her 'painful experience' either made her do it or justified it. Gee, maybe she'd do that.
    At this rate, victim-friendly and SNAP-py types are dragging things back to the Dark Ages. Such progress.
    I'm hoping that a) people like Somerville learn how to really research issues rather than simply mimic research-style or, failing that, I'm hoping that b) the wider public begins to look more carefully at all the stories and assertions that folks like her make.

  19. Publion says:

    The jury in the William Lynch trial in Santa Clara County, CA has nullified the Charges against him and he is thus let off.
    The judge in the case, Judge Cena, deserves tremendous credit for his steadfast integrity in avoiding the antics displayed in the Philadelphia trial (the outcome of which, those defense attorneys have declared, will be appealed, and on some solid Ex Post Facto grounds).
    But the jury in Santa Clara somehow got nullification into its mind and that opened up a last-ditch (but perhaps not unforeseen) gambit to somehow steer things that way. Possibly, somebody coached in nullification (it’s not a widely known option for juries) was among the jurors.
    Curiously, the jurors have now requested anonymity (although now that the trial is over, I can’t see the need for it … unless they figure that they haven’t really done the right thing).
    Apparently, the jurors presumed that Lynch’s testimony about the alleged assaults in 1975 were credible (although his claims to have duplicitously initiated the assault sequence without premeditation and the intent of violence, and his claims of some even more whacky variant of repressed-something-but-not-memory, hardly appeared credible).
    The role of the prosecution in this case is most likely a strong contributing factor that pushed the jury over this dangerous precipice of a verdict. From the outset it was clear that the prosecutors – already schooled in victim-friendly jurisprudence and clearly supportive of it – made their distaste for the victim of the assault – the priest Lindner – evident. The case may well have been fatally compromised from the moment when the female prosecutor, in her opening statement, asserted that Lindner would lie on the stand and deny he committed the 1975 abuse against Lindner. Why should the jury have hewed to first-principles when the very prosecutors obviously found it distasteful to do so?
    The case is being billed as a victory for the victimists and for SNAP specifically. I would say that it is legitimately a victory, but only in the most narrow of perspectives.
    In a larger sense, this trial is going to exercise a baleful significance: the decision of this jury (which, again, now suddenly wishes to remain permanently anonymous) creates both a) a legal precedent and b) the grounds for any weak-minded, strong-willed self-convinced victim that s/he can exercise vigilante justice ‘because the jury will understand’ or something to that effect.
    Nor are the pious but sly bleats of SNAP-types sufficient: we deplore vigilante violence but consider this case a victory. This case is not simply a defeat for the first-principles of modern Western Constitutional justice; it is an indictment of victim-friendly law and the professional formation most law schools have embraced for over 20 years now. And this precedent, a demon summoned forth by the victimists on the witless assumption it could be controlled, will not remain limited to sexual-abuse matters.
    And it has breached open a terrible Gate that once was considered closed, and summoned back a violent past in the darker Ages of the West that had been considered left behind with all the other primitive practices that once passed for ‘justice’ among the tribes long, long ago.
    Perhaps the jurors realized this. And wish now to wash their hands of it.
    But now that it has seen the light, this Thing will not so easily be washed away. Or put back behind the Gate. Vigilante justice, if pretexted  as being in the service of some fancied or even real victimization, again walks the land.
    Such progress.

  20. Publion says:

    Some further thoughts about this Lynch trial.
    I think that the former jurors owe the public some sort of explanation. Since they chose to take so dangerous (though legal) a route, so rife with potential and even probable consequences for the entire system of justice in this country, then they owe the public some explanation as to just how they came to open so lethal a cage, why they opened the Gate that kept Kong on the other side.
    And did anybody imagine that this frakkery would remain limited to sex-cases? If in 1975 somebody you claim to have been drunk killed your brother and injured you – not just metaphorically as the sex-victims love to claim (‘my soul was killed’; ‘my spirit was murdered’; I was – like – a victim of a  holocaust’; I am dead as a human being … and so on) – then are you justified 37 years later in perpetrating a deliberate assault against that person? What about people who have been victimized by bankers and stock-brokers who aren't being prosecuted?
    Yes, Lynch apparently did little enough damage and claimed large enough purposes (he did it for past and potential victims; he just wanted to ‘publicize’ things) that a jury might feel that in this one case – just this one – they could afford to be nice and cut some slack.
    But surely at least a few of them must have been intelligent enough (at least one of them seems to be an engineer, used to systems-thinking) to realize that you can’t introduce such a lethal dynamic into a system and then expect that you can control the consequences and that those consequences will only be your good-intentioned and best-case consequences and not anything less or worse. (That was the type of thinking that got this country into the Iraq war.)
    And such post-trial reflections by the jurors would also give us some idea of how the verdict was finally decided and on what basis. Was the case decided for Lynch or against Lindner? Meaning: was it that Lynch so impressed them or that Lindner so repelled them? Were they primarily concerned for this case? Or were they concerned to ‘send the right message’ more generally?
    Were they predominantly and/or immediately all in agreement? If not, what elements initially created the questions that they then had to thrash out?
    And how did ‘jury nullification’ come up for them? And how did they handle that possibility? And how did they reach the point where they embraced it?
    It seems to me that the jury-deliberations would be as useful to the public as the trial testimony and claims themselves. Perhaps even more.
    The jurors owe Us. And that – I would say – will become even more evident as the consequences of what they have now gone and done become more obvious and clear.


    I am delighted that Will Lynch kicked his butt!  I couldn't be more tickled!  tee hee hee…
    I advocate kicking butt if your children are raped.  BEAT THE RAPIST…NO MERCY

  22. Publion says:

    And when somebody decides to come after you for whatever victimzation – not necessarily sexual – you may have intentionally or unintentionally caused them at some point in the past, then what will you do? Have you any idea what the legal precedent implies in this case? Or is that too much thinking for you?

  23. Julie says:

    Frank Lostaunau, you are the same person who called me a "ho" when I commented in earnest on a blog. You have no credibility whatsoever. Publion, I would say that is too much thinking for Frank.

  24. Publion says:

    In re the 'Lostaunau' comment:
    I wonder how much this type of comment reflects the  'thinking' that actually goes on in the SNAP-type meetings.
    And that might have been insinuated into the jury deliberations as well.
    And I still think SNAP is a sort of OZ-like entity that actually comprises very few actual people and that it is merely media-attention that gives it its semblance of Big-Player status.
    But even so, it is this Attitude more than any solid insights that are the characteristic 'signature' of SNAP. And Clohessy has already acknowledged that there is very little therapy that goes on, and that very little money is spent on it in their declared-budget and that there are no formally-trained and accredited  therapists on-staff (and that he himself, although CEO, does nothing more than handle press-releases and such).

  25. Julie says:

    Publion, I think you are right. And I especially think SNAP is an oz-like organization like you said. Because they announced the next SNAP conference on that blog. And I asked, How many people attended the last conference, to which Laustenau replied, "You so funny." Which I suppose means not many people attended.

  26. Publion says:

    A local attorney has just put up an assessment of the Lynch-Lindner case dynamics on the ‘San Jose Mercury News’ blog site.
    You can read it here:
    I don’t quite agree with it.
    In CA, he notes, the difference between felony and misdemeanor A&B is the severity of the injury inflicted on the victim. For a felony the possibility of ‘great bodily harm’ is required, whereas for a misdemeanor-battery one need only touch somebody without their consent or “in a rude or insolent manner”.  But in the Lynch case, we have a self-admitted A&B that involved striking the victim and inflicting sufficient damage as to require EMS and stitches. And when you strike an elderly person, surely the possibility of great bodily harm is intensified.
    So this attorney’s effort to claim that the jury was well within reasonable limits not to adjudge the A&B felonious is not – to my mind – credible. And that’s without considering the facts admitted by Lynch (the lie concocted to gain ‘access’ to his victim, wearing gloves, asking the victim to take his glasses off before he whacked him) which indicate – to my mind – deliberate and premeditated A&B.
    The attorney then raises the point that the jury can easily be forgiven for not trusting a case where the victim’s (Lindner) testimony cannot be considered. But in this case there was no doubt as to the fact of the A&B (the defendant Lynch himself admitted it) or the extent (as far as we know; old folks can develop problems later on since their physical systems are more fragile) of the injuries resulting from the defendant Lynch’s actions. And, as I said, it seems pretty evident that some amount of planning on the part of the defendant went into this entire attack.
    Thus too, this attorney leaps far too optimistically (and – I think – slyly) to the conclusion that once Lindner had taken the Fifth (about the sex abuse alleged to have happen decades before) then the jury was justified in not trusting the prosecution’s case because the star-witness/victim was unreliable. But you didn’t need the star-witness’s testimony since you had a) the medical reports and police reports and b) the defendant Lynch’s own admission that he had committed the crime. With all that, what more did the jury need to know to adjudge the Charge(s)?
    Thus too this attorney’s marvelously (and slyly) disingenuous statement that without Lindner’s testimony the prosecution could barely place Lynch in the room, “much less how the priest had come to suffer his injuries”. Willy Tango Foxtrot? Lynch admitted to going there and hitting the priest; and how else would the priest have gotten his injuries?
    And the attorney admits that the jury was sympathetic to Lynch from the outset because the defense had been allowed to play Lynch’s videotaped dramatic story-telling about the 1975 assault as part of the defense’s initial presentation. As I have said in prior comments, this was completely irrelevant material to the trial at this stage; it might have been legitimately introduced in mitigation at sentencing if the jury found the defendant guilty, but it was utterly irrelevant and prejudicial at the opening of the trial – and especially if Lindner had always denied it and the allegations contained in Lynch’s story had never been investigated and their veracity somehow established. The operative legal theory apparently inherent in the presentation of the Lynch story at the outset was that if somebody is sufficiently victimized, then any violence they commit against their putative victimizer decades later is not really a crime; the tactical courtroom strategy – successful, apparently, in this case – is that the jury can be rendered sympathetic to the defendant for whatever reason.
    The attorney then claims (and perhaps he has managed to get the jurors to talk to him, although they have remained resolutely silent in all other respects) that the jury didn’t think that Lindner’s injuries rose to the level of a felony. Although clearly they do in terms of the statute; and if anybody had hit an elderly person on the streets of San Jose and that elder required stitches, would any jury consider that merely a misdemeanor? I doubt it very much. Which goes to show that the jury was looking not at the crime Lynch clearly committed (and quite probably with malice aforethought) in 2010, but rather at the unproven story Lynch was allowed to tell about alleged events in the year 1975.
    The attorney then claims that defendant Lynch need never have taken the stand in his own defense (because of the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case above-mentioned) and that he did so – waittttt for ittttt! – merely because he heroically wanted to confront Lindner in court and tell his story – above and beyond the videotape – under the pains of perjury. But who is to say that Lynch didn’t perjure himself in telling the 1975 story? That story has never been tested.  And perhaps now never will.
    “It was clear to the jury that everyone, including the prosecutor, believed that Father Lindner molested Lynch”, says the attorney. But this is slyly deceptive. Yes, the prosecutor clearly believed it – with what justification is another question altogether, and not an insignificant one – but aside from the prosecutor and the defense attorneys perhaps, what other relevant “everyone” were in the courtroom.? Except the jurors themselves. But the attorney apparently doesn’t want to impeach the jurors’ impartiality by saying that they were influenced by their belief in an unproven assertion claimed by the defendant as a justification for his crime.
    And then the attorney finishes up his presentation by posing a couple of “difficult questions” of what the prosecution will now do next: retry Lynch on a misdemeanor charge or not. No matter which way the prosecutor’s office goes, the attorney bleats, somebody will be unhappy. Neat!
    And yet the attorney’s presentation has clearly raised more questions – and more vital and compelling and fundamental questions – in trying to explain-away what happened in the case.
    So my take on this local attorney’s presentation is this: he wanted to get everybody off the hook and make it seem that the Santa Clara legal system was precisely not a kangaroo process specifically tailored as a pretext for simply validating the principle that self-proclaimed victims can assault their alleged victimizers with impunity and malice aforethought, whenever they want, even decades later.
    In the process, this attorney slyly tailors his assessment to let everybody off the hook: the defendant, the defense counsel, the prosecutors, and the jurors. All local folk, as is this local attorney.
    And – but of course – leaving the actual victim of this (premeditated) crime, Lindner, as the mule, blamed for it all.
    Phooey and baloney.