***MAJOR BREAKING STORY*** In a landmark July 2012 event which made headlines around the world, Philadelphia's Msgr. William J. Lynn became the first Catholic official convicted on the claim of failing to supervise abusive priests. An appellate court has now overturned this wrong conviction. [See full background]
• [THU. 12/26/13, 1:06PM] … Associated Press:
"A Pennsylvania appeals court has ruled that a Roman Catholic church official was wrongly convicted for his handling of priest sex-abuse complaints.
"The unanimous decision released Thursday by the state Superior Court also dismisses the criminal case against Monsignor William Lynn."
• [THU. 12/26/13, 1:46PM] … Ralph Cipriano / BigTrial.net coverage! … "This whole prosecution was totally dishonest from day one," Lynn's attorney Thomas Bergstrom tells Cipriano. "He's been sitting in jail 18 months for a crime he couldn't possibly commit as a matter of law."
• [THU. 12/26/13, 2:15PM] … Philly Inquirer / Philly.com reports …
• [THU. 12/26/13, 2:44PM] … NY Times reports … "I felt all along that the trial was a freight train," said Jeffery Lindy, Monsignor Lynn's lawyer during the trial. "None of the judges who had this case wanted to stand in the way. It was too bad politically."
• [THU., 12/26/13, 5:09PM] … [CLICK TO READ THE COURT RULING (pdf)] … Ruling was unanimous … Court's closing words:
"Appellant [Msgr. Lynn] did not know or know of D.G. [accuser of abuse Dan Gallagher], he was not sufficiently aware [a priest]'s supervision of D.G. or any other child at St. Jerome's, nor did he have any specific information that [a priest] intended or was preparing to molest D.G. or any other child at St. Jerome's. In sum, the evidence was insufficient to demonstrate that Appellant acted with the 'intent of promoting or facilitating' an EWOC ['Endangering the Welfare of Children,' the crime for which Lynn was convicted] offense.
"Having determined that the evidence was not sufficient to support Appellant's conviction for EWOC either as a principal or as an accomplice, we are compelled to reverse Appellant's judgment of sentence. And, as there are no other offenses for which he was convicted in this case, Appellant is ordered discharged forthwith.
"Judgment of sentence reversed. Appellant is discharged. Judgment Entered."
• [THU. 12/26/13, 5:49PM] … Archdiocese of Philadelphia issues a press release … (Thank you for the tip, josie!) …
• [THU. 12/26/13, 6:11PM] … David Clohessy, the vulgar director of the anti-Catholic group SNAP, becomes unglued, has a hissy fit, and falsely accuses Church leaders of "deceiving police, stonewalling prosecutors, ignoring victims, destroying evidence, fabricating alibis, hiding crimes and protecting pedophiles" … The dishonesty is off the charts. When will the media call him out on this?
So … The mainstream media loudly trumpeted the July 2012 conviction as "historic" and as the first Catholic official to be prosecuted for failing to supervise priests. How will the media examine this stunning development?
[UPDATE, Fri. 12/27/13, AM newspaper round-up] … New York Times (page A16) … Philly Inquirer (page 1) … Wall St. Journal (page A3) … SNAP's wild-eyed Judy Jones has become completely unhinged, claiming the court's decision will somehow "enable and empower child predators to sexually abuse more kids." (Can someone get her some fresh air? Please?) … Boston Globe (page A2) …
[UPDATE, Fri., 12/27/13, 1:26PM] … Allison Steele at the Philly Inquirer now reports that a judge will decide "next week" if Msgr. Lynn will be released from prison on bail as the angry Philly D.A. Seth Williams appeals the court's unanimous decision … Unfortunately, the judge making the decision about Lynn's release will be Judge Teresa Sarmina (!), the very judge who was cited as being "often mistaken for a member of the prosecution team" during the trial against Msgr. Lynn … "[T]he appeal is not over, and probably won't be for many months or years," D.A. spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson says. "Given that, the prison has no authority to release the defendant." … The anger and bigotry at the D.A.'s Office are off the charts, folks.
[UPDATE, Fri., 12/27/13, 2:54PM] … New post from Ralph Cipriano / BigTrial.net on Judge Sarmina deciding whether or not Msgr. Lynn gets out of prison … Cipriano: "Sarmina presided over a ridiculously slanted show trial of Lynn." … Msgr. Lynn's lawyer Thomas Bergstrom: "The Superior Court has said he [Lynn] should be discharged forthwith, so I don't think that requires any interpretation. Seems to me she [Judge Sarmina] has to do exactly what they've ordered."
[UPDATE, late Sat., 12/28/13] … Is Philly D.A. Seth Williams losing his mind? Not only will the D.A. argue on Monday that Msgr. Lynn should be held in prison on bail – after the court unanimously overturned Lynn's conviction – but will actually claim that the cleric is a "flight risk" and could escape to the Vatican. Unbelievable …
Ralph Cipriano now reports the latest and reaction from Lynn's lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom:
"Bergstrom [says], 'The whole thing is idiotic. These guys [in the district attorney's office] are the most unprofessional lawyers I've ever run across in my life. They simply ignore the law and they're gonna continue to do it. But that [Superior Court] order applies to them as well.'
"Contrary to what the D.A. is peddling, Bergstrom said, there is no evidence to support the contention that Lynn might flee to the Vatican.
"'It's very difficult to respond to an idiotic statement like that when it's not based on fact, it's just fiction,' Bergstrom said. 'It's almost delusional.'"
[UPDATE, Mon. 12/30/13, ~4PM] … Philly.com reports that Judge Sarmina has set bail at $250,000 for Msgr. Lynn and has required that he wear a monitoring bracelet, among other silly demands … Ralph Cipriano / BigTrial.net coverage: During the bail hearing, Philly Asst. D.A. Hugh Burns actually compared Msgr. Lynn to Ira Einhorn, "the notorious killer hippie who, back in 1981, fled the country on the eve of his murder trial in Philadelphia."
"So the D.A. was comparing Lynn, the celibate priest and ultimate company man, to the free-loving, freewheeling hippie sociopath who clubbed his girlfriend to death and kept her mummified corpse in a steamer trunk next to his bed for 18 months. Nice.
"Today's comedy act of a bail hearing was a fitting capper to the show trial that was the Lynn case."