Friday, June 15, 2012

Judge Reverses Herself On Criminal Intent

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina began the day by reversing herself.

On Thursday, the judge instructed the jury that Monsignor William J. Lynn did not have to act with criminal intent in order to be found guilty of conspiring to endanger the welfare of children.

On Friday, the judge said that Msgr. Lynn did have to act with criminal intent in order to be found guilty of conspiring to endanger the welfare of children.

Confused? Obviously, so are the jurors, who finished their ninth day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

On Friday, the judge gave a complicated set of jury instructions that laid out the conditions for finding Msgr. Lynn guilty of conspiring to endanger the welfare of children.

In order to find Lynn guilty, according to the judge, the jury would have to:

-- Find that the monsignor intended to promote or facilitate the committing of the crime of endangering the welfare of children.

-- Find that "Lynn intended to act jointly" with other conspirators so that "a crime would be committed," namely endangering the welfare of children.

-- Find that Lynn and other conspirators had to know that their conduct would result in the danger of harm to children.

The judge read her instructions so fast that reporters and lawyers in the courtroom had trouble following along. Let's face it, this stuff is complicated, and what an already confused jury of lay people made of the judge's hasty words and complete reversal remains to be seen.

The jury returned to their deliberations. During the day, they asked for ten defense exhibits, including a floor plan of the tenth floor, where Lynn's office for the clergy was located on, as well as a  letter Lynn sent to a sex abuse victim of Father Edward V. Avery.

The jury then asked for a read back of Lynn's cross-examination of May 29, when the monsignor was asked about the decision to give Father Avery a new assignment at St. Jerome's Church. It was in the sacristy of St. Jerome's where Avery subsequently abused a 10-year-old altar boy.

During the cross-examination, Lynn testified that it was Cardinal Bevilacqua's decision to place Avery at St. Jerome's, and also give him a residence in a rectory. On May 29, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington questioned Lynn about the wisdom of allowing Father Avery to hear confessions of school children after the priest had been accused in 1992 of repeatedly fondling the genitals of a 12-year-old boy back in the late 1970s.

Lynn testified that the confessions were en masse, with 600 to 700 kids "coming over at once." The confessions were done publicly, in an assembly line, Lynn told the prosecutor.

Jury deliberations are scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Monday.


  1. If a drunk driver gets in a car and mows down someone, it may have never been that driver's intention to do so, but never-the-less, he or she is often found guilty, because they have committed a crime! I think that the judge is failing to examine the BIG picture and see that Lynn's behavior was "institutionally sanctioned" with the full intent of keeping a lid on the Priest Pedophilia Scandal in Philly and "Avoiding Scandal" to the Roman Catholic Church. He knew what he was doing, more so than a drunk, who gets behind the wheel in an inebriated state. Lynn did what he did and can't even blame alcohol for his behavior! I am totally disgusted with this latest news from the judge. Is it any wonder that the jury is confused!

  2. Any victim who's dealt with the lawyers for the Catholic church knows they don't play fair. I sense this is jury nullification and the jurors will just keep coming back with more and more questions.

    Archdiocese attorneys are tricksters. They are corporate tools and I believe they will stop at nothing for their deep-pocket clients.

    We need a Movie by someone like Oliver Stone to experience anything like justice regarding this crime spree by pedophile priests and the bishops who enabled them. The courts are owned by the Church.

    In my opinion.

    1. I agree totally with Kay Ebeling. She has written the absolute truth.

      I believe the fix is in and Lynn will get off scott free.

      Work to free the American people from the yoke of the RCC: work for the repeal of the tax exempt status of the RCC. It is time for true separation of church and state.

  3. They asked to see a floor plan?

    What will the nullifying juror come up with next?

  4. Here's how to sort this out, courtesy of philosopher John Locke:

    "The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts."

    Actions that consistently negate a stated intent nullify that intent, IMHO.

    "I never intended" becomes a convenient out for every chancery official, bishop, cardinal or whatever. The failure to stop and think about the consequences is where morality happens, making one culpable.

    Full intent not to endanger children hardly describes Lynn's actions. If he truly wanted to protect children and not endanger them, his actions would have reflected that.

    Don't know if that flies legally but if Lynn gets off --- as absolutely every cleric might no matter how criminal their actions --- by simply saying my intent was good, then justice is a mirage.


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