Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Msgr. Lynn A Free Man

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Msgr. William J. Lynn, the central figure in the district attorney's self-described "historic" prosecution of the Philadelphia archdiocese for sex abuse, is a free man.

That’s because today, the state Supreme Court, in a one-page decision, announced it would not review a second reversal of Lynn’s original conviction by the state Superior Court.

After serving 33 months in jail, and 15 months under house arrest, Lynn could be on a bus to Philadelphia as early as tomorrow.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”

Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was sentenced to three to six years in jail by the trial judge in the case, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina.

 The alleged victim in the case, however, was Danny Gallagher, aka “Billy Doe,” who had all kinds of credibility problems, as recounted multiple times on this blog as well as in a Jan. 29th Newsweek cover story.

This is the second go-around for Lynn with both the state Superior Court, and the state Supreme Court.

In December, 2013, the state Superior Court reversed Lynn's conviction by saying that the state’s original child endangerment law did not apply to Lynn.

District Attorney Seth Williams appealed to the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Lynn got out jail on house arrest. In April 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled in the D.A.'s favor, saying the child endangerment law did apply to Lynn, and he was sent back to jail.

In December 2015, the state Superior Court, for the second time in three years, overturned Lynn's conviction, and ordered a new trial. A panel of three Superior Court judges ruled that the trial court had "abused its discretion" by allowing 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse to be admitted as evidence against Msgr. Lynn.

The 21 cases dated back to 1948, three years before the 65-year-old Lynn was born, and took up at least 25 days of the 32-day trial. In his appeal brief, Lynn's lawyers argued that the prosecution "introduced these files to put on trial the entire Archdiocese of Philadelphia, hoping to convict [Lynn] by proxy for the sins of the entire church."

The Superior Court judges agreed, ruling that the "probative value" of the supplemental cases "did not outweigh its potential for unfair prejudice, and that this potential prejudice was not overcome by the trial court's cautionary instructions."

In their decision, the Superior Court judges wrote that Judge Sarmina "has apparently mistaken quantity for quality in construing the probative value of this evidence en masse." The Superior Court judges further declared that the "probative value of significant quantities of this evidence was trivial or minimal."

The district attorney then appealed the state Superior Court's reversal of Lynn's sentence to the state Supreme Court, hoping he would get lucky again.

In a one-page order today, however, the state Supreme Court announced that "the petition for allowance of appeal is denied." And that the district attorney's "petition for leave to respond to Lynn's answer is denied."

Lynn, according to his lawyer, will be freed because he is an “unconvicted and unsentenced individual who is obviously entitled to reasonable bail, and a new trial.”

Earlier this month, the state parole board voted to release Lynn on bail in October, when his three year minimum sentence was up. But now that the state Supreme Court has ruled it will not review the reversal of Lynn’s conviction, he will be released immediately, according to his lawyer.

Lynn was incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute at Waymart, where he served as prison librarian, earning 19 cents an hour by while he checked books in and out for fellow inmates, and also kept track of periodicals.

When the state Superior Court reversed Lynn's conviction, they also granted him a new trial. 

“At least if we have another trial, it will be a fair trial,” Bergstrom said. He meant that if the case is retried, the district attorney will not be able to parade 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse before a jury, as the D.A. did the first time the case was tried back in 2012.

Asked if that trial will happen, Bergstrom said, "That's up to the D.A."

A spokesperson for the D.A. responded that "The Office is currently reviewing the decision."

32 comments:

  1. Thank you, Ralph for all your reporting on this trial.....does Sarmina have to be the judge to grant bail? Do you think Seth will bring Blessington out from the basement and see if he can get another historical conviction?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No, they will be going to an administrative judge. And if the case is retried, it will be retried before another judge.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Most likely scenario will be the DA will decline to prosecute .

    ReplyDelete
  4. The power of prayer! God bless you Monsignor. We love and miss you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Ralph - nice reporting, and very quick, at that! Awesome!

    Should Rufus decide to retry Lynn, this will provide a golden opportunity to quash Billy Doe's credibility - once and for all. However, considering everything that's come to light in the last year concerning Doe, his medical records, Brady material (and the like) I wonder if the DA will further risk his reputation and that of the DA's office by attempting another travesty (with the taxpayers' money, no less).

    My bet is that he will play it safe (at least in his mind) - - - by doing nothing - - - except for licking his wounds.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My bet he won't retrial, Lynn has been punished serving almost the minimum sentence, and doesn't want to put the victim through the pain of a retrial and be victimized all over again. That will be his spin.The real reason is he knows he won't win with Billy Doe's testimony and he wont have Sarmina.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarmina? She should either be demoted or disbarred. Maybe she could get a job as a tennis court judge, think??

      Delete
  7. Its too bad the truth comes out after the defendant has been convicted, possibly if the media gave the defendants argument as much print as they give to the prosecution we would see fairer trials, not the one sided justice that being dolled out now.

    The prosecution as well as the media should be held accountable for unjustly persecuting a defendant. Suing the media for carrying false and misleading information to the public would be one way to stop the undue burden on a defendant. Whipping the public into a frenzy against all defendants is doing more harm than good.

    We need the public to fight back, speak up against injustice, stop waiting for laws to change , we all need help now.Prosecutors prosecute, they want to find fault, even if they have to invent the crime.

    Many injustices are now coming to light, there are guilty individuals, hosts of horrific crimes that were committed against children and making them public is good. The truth needs to come out,it needs to be known, but condemning the lot is not what is needed.

    Politicians are the new whipping boy, everything that is wrong with the country is a politicians fault, prosecutors have made statements such as all politicians are crooks. If that is correct then a statement such as this is correct , that all prosecutors lie to convict defendants. Too bad politicians don't speak up for themselves, they take the abuse day in and day out. The media would have us believe that politicians have cornered the crime market, that politicians plot and plan to deceive and enrich themselves. Are we are to believe that all other professions are free of all sin, that there are no crimes committed by bankers, teachers, business owners, lawyers, doctors ?
    The recent denunciation of the democratic party was a disgrace on the part of the media. Its time for politicians to grow a set and stop the abuse of their profession or continue to allow the media to prep the juror pool against you.



    ReplyDelete
  8. Ralph
    Thank you for all you have done over these past years with this case. Continue with the real truth with all your reporting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ralph, well done and thank you. You rose above emotions and pursued truth and experienced it's freedom. Williams and Sarmina have not yet done that and remain the real prisoners in all this - Williams a prisoner of ambition and Sarmina a prisoner of her prejudice.

    Monsignor, you have endured so much suffering. You must be so very close to Jesus. I am a brother priest and ask that you pray for me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I want to say thank you also, if all journalist did their jobs like you, getting to the bottom of an issue, reporting what is said in the courtroom instead of taking the prosecutors word, we would be a safer,freer country. Less consumed with winning and more concentration on truth and real justice. Our government has to stop telling us how to think and feel, more compassion is needed, not the take no prisoner stance we now watch prosecutors display.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Only God will judge. If you dont pay for your mistakes in this world you shrely will pay for them in the next. Supposably all he was doing was following orders and didnt want to loose his jo. Believing there is redemtion and believes in forgiving these swc offenders could change. I say I think I soon loose all that I am and all that I love than to put children even in possible harms way. He may have informed the proper people to hand these people over yet his requests may have been denied. Why didnt he resign his position. Maybe he thought he could consel and change their ways! God help us learn from others mistakes. Go and do only good with the information we have now to be true. Keep all children safe at every cost!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A headscratche judge bright delayed his release until next TUESDAY. After what the state supreme court said! Looks likeability will be delayed until October 16th. So unfair and mean spirited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to understand all of this. When it comes to any other person than a Priest it is handled so different. It makes one wonder who do we have in our Court systems. We go to the Polls and vote and just click on names. Maybe we will look at the voting system differently especially due to this case.

      Delete
  13. Is it true that Msgr Lynn wil not get out until next Tuesday? What is the reasoning?

    ReplyDelete
  14. What is even scarier about our "justice"system is that Judge Sarmina, believe it or not, has been assigned the Salvation Army building collapse civil trial. Rewarded for ineptitude??

    ReplyDelete
  15. Trying to nail this down. My guess is he'll be out before Tuesday. The prison has no reason to hold him as the only charge against him has been reversed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If DA Seth recharges Lynn with the 1972 version of the law, Judge bright will keep him jailed until released on parole under house arrest with ankle monitor. Trial date will be set for sometime in 2017. And defense and prosecutors will engage into long protracted arguments until a deal will be agreed upon having Lynn pleading guilty to one count of child endangerment under the 1972 law in exchange for time served. O hope it doesn't happen but you have to consider the sickness of the DA and his minions.

      Delete
    2. Lynn has already served his sentence and has already been granted parole. His conviction on one count of child endangerment has been reversed twice by the Superior Court, and the second time around, the state Supreme Court let it stand.

      At this point, in the words of one of his former attorneys, I can't imagine him pleading guilty to jaywalking.

      Delete
  16. The plight of a political prisoner in America unfolding for all to see who have eyes. This case sadly reveals that our system can be manipulated by judges and prosecutors for self aggrandizement.Philly smells so much like China or North Korea

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hiding evidence is the number one crime the feds commit against a defendant, not turning over exculpatory evidence to the defense team is appalling behavior on the part of the lawyers hired by the government to uphold the law.
    Prosecutors conspire, scheme and manipulate facts, betraying fellow citizens for their own gain.Prosecutors lie to federal judges to make their case against a defendant .

    America is waking up to the tactics of the "justice" department.
    Paying for a crime committed is one thing, paying for a crime you did not commit undermines society. Who has respect for lying prosecutors, who can teach respect when none is shown to defendants. The amount of defendants that have been exoneration should have citizens doubting anything the comes out of the governments mouths'.

    Getting the media on board to take notice of their antics is the next important component for a more just legal system.

    I wondered where in the world is was possible to find such horrid government lawyers but I have decided its the ultimate power they hold over fellow citizens that corrupts them. Truly I have no respect for prosecutors and have lost all respect for authority . Who can stand up for America when America does not stand up for its citizens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But its o.k. for the catholic church to hide evidence. We seen it in Altoona, Philly, Boston, Minnesota, California, Alaska would you like me to go on ?

      You mention prosecutors betray fellow citizens. What do you call it when you have people like Lynn feed up children to their fellow priests to be raped and tortured ?

      Delete
    2. Dennis - why don't you go back with all of the other 'empty wells' on C4C where you belong? Kinda reminds me of Hyman Roth in the Godfather who was 'dying from the same heart attack for the last 20 years'.

      Delete
    3. You should be more like those Brave people at C4C. You can do that by first using your real name instead of being a coward and hiding under the title anonymous.Second you could start looking to change the catholic church for the better as they do instead of coming to a blog and mouthing off about something you know nothing about because without people like those at C4C your church will fall as quickly as your pope did.

      Delete
  18. Only 33 months in hell while victims of clergy abuse spend a lifetime because of people like Lynn.

    But because I believe in our justice system I MUST accept this ruling.I may not like it but I know one day there will be a ruling by one man greater than any judge, court or jury and justice will be served.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ralph, any updates today? Thanks for your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ralph, any updates today? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ralph, now that you have doggedly pursued the truth in this case and brought all of the true facts to light for all to see, I now challenge you to begin your inquiry into the numerous crimes committed against society and the citizens of Philadelphia by Rufus Seth Williams. He without cause and for sick personal reasons has withdrawn prosecution of hundreds of cases on violent drug offenders, thereby leaving the safety of all Philadelphia citizens at risk. His criminal conduct, no doubt has already cause multiple loses of life. Dig into his reason for what he has done and continues to due. Force him to answer the question "why"instead of his standard "no comment" response when it comes to answering why he has committed numerous acts of obstruction of justice and violation of peoples rights. Ask him why a Federal Judge is now demanding to know why he has withdrawn these hundreds of cases of violent offenders and released violent offenders from long prison sentences the deserved. You know what I am talking about Ralph. Make this your new truth to get out to all and expose Rufus Seth Williams past and continuing crimes.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My prayers have been answered! Please, update! Today is Saturday, has Msgr. Lynn been released?

    ReplyDelete
  23. He is not out yet. A bail hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Gwendolyn Bright. Will keep you posted.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Rufus Seth Williams is a corrupt filthy criminal and the truth about his crimes will eventually come out for all to see.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't know how I feel about Lynn being free but unlike some people commenting here, the commentators at C4C are not impressed: https://catholics4change.com/2016/08/02/breaking-news-lynn-released/

    Dave Pierre on the other hand: http://www.themediareport.com/2016/07/27/msgr-lynn-wrongful-conviction/

    I guess the truth must lie somewhere in between.

    ReplyDelete

Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

 

Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog Copyright © 2016 BigTrial.net

Privacy Policy: BigTrial.net does not distribute, share or sell email addresses, or any other personal information received from this website.