Monday, May 11, 2015

Msgr. Lynn's Lawyer Seeks Hearing In Superior Court

By Ralph Cipriano

A lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn filed two motions in state Superior Court today, seeking to argue an appeal for a new trial before the same panel of judges that previously overturned Lynn's conviction.

On Dec. 26, 2013, state Superior Court Judges John T. Bender, Christine L. Donohue and John L. Musmanno issued an opinion that reversed Lynn's June 22, 2012, conviction in Common Pleas Court for endangering the welfare of a child.

On April 27, 2015, the state Supreme Court entered an opinion reversing the Superior Court's reversal.

In his motion seeking a new briefing before the Superior Court, Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn's lawyer,   noted that the state Supreme Court only addressed one narrow issue, namely whether Lynn was considered an "other person supervising the welfare of a child" under the state's original 1972 child endangerment law.

The law states: "A parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age commits an offense if he knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support."

In their opinion, the state Supreme Court ruled that under the law, Lynn was considered an "other person supervising the welfare of a child."  The state Superior Court didn't see it that way, ruling that the law didn't apply to Lynn.

In his motion, Bergstrom noted that he had previously raised 10 other issues in the appeal of Lynn's conviction that "remain unresolved."

In the second motion, Bergstrom "respectfully applies to the Court for an order assigning this case for further disposition before" the same panel of judges that previously overturned Lynn's conviction.

Lynn had served 18 months of a 3 to 6 year sentence before the state Superior Court overturned his conviction. He spent the last 16 months under house arrest under terms of release imposed by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who presided over Lynn's 2012 trial.

After the state Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court's reversal of Lynn's conviction, Judge Sarmina revoked bail and ordered Lynn back to jail.

When Lynn appeared in Judge Sarmina's courtroom on a motion by the district attorney's office to revoke bail, Lynn's family was noticeably absent from the proceedings.

The monsignor's family subsequently released a statement that says:

We, the family of Msgr. Lynn, chose to forgo the proceedings as we were confident of what the outcome would be, considering that the judge involved has acted as a member of the prosecution team since the inception of the trial. We could also not bear the erroneous ramblings of the prosecutor once more.

We also know that Msgr. is secure in the love and support from family and so many others so our physical presence was unnecessary. Those who know him know what a good, compassionate and unequivocally faithful man he is.

We firmly believe that abuse of a child by any individual should not be tolerated. Sadly this trial was not about justice for victims but about establishing political platforms by charging an underling with the crimes of his former superiors who could not or would not be prosecuted.


  1. Msgr.'s family's assessment of the situation is on target. May God bless the Msgr. and his family.

    1. I agree with the family, the judges view the prosecutors as their fair haired children who could do no wrong. The FBI and IRS also are treated equally as well, the media also part of one big family, convicting people before they get to trial. Imagine having the media do most of the work for you, tainting the jury pool. The idea that the media is trying to portray as unbiased is not working anymore, I think people are getting it. The Supreme Court has many friends in the federal building. The Catholic Church did deserve most of the disgrace for the horrific crimes it hid, it will never regain its supreme authority over the faithful. My greatest wish is the same fate befalls the federal prosecutors and the judicial system , who seem to have a God given right over every American citizen. If we need to pray its for whistleblowers to tell the truth and honest prosecutors to give us our respect for our country back, our dignity back. As a middle aged Catholic I have lost respect for the church and my government , its discouraging to say the least. Everyone seems to put themselves first, prosecutors, Supreme Court Justices, the church. We have little to believe in, what a mess. How do we get our respect back?

  2. What happened with the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court is a disgrace. Instead of reviewing all the issues brought up by Bergstrom, they chose to review one issue and decide on it in the most narrowest form to favor the prosecution. They forgot or do not want to know that their role is not to expand the parameters of the law but to review what the law stands for and what was the intention of the legislature that got the law written the way it was written. The way they interpreted that part of the law may not have been the wishes of the legislature that created this law.

    Right to file for a new trial as there is no possibility of gaining further relief from Superior Court as the DA would still run to his old buddy in the State Supreme Court to sidetrack the appeal. Only problem is will they be granted a new trial? If they are granted a new trial, they should petition for it to be held in a suburban district (Bucks, Montgomery and Chester) and limit it to the 1972 EWOCs law and whether it applied to Lynn or not. NO parade of past abuse victims from decades past to give testimony.

    Be careful for what you wish. If you want to protect principals and school administrators from being put in jail because they did not know that there was abuse in a school district if an opportunistic DA was so inclined to bring prosecution of such to polish his or her nameplate. The law is written to compel administrators to call the police when they have a potential child abuse case in their school not prosecute them for participating in such abuse by not calling the police because they were not aware that such abuse was in their school.

    Hopefully rationality will come to the case as Superior Court could end up mediating between Lynn's attorneys and the DA to grant Lynn credit for time served under house arrest and come to nearly a full three year prison sentence completed. That would be best possible outcome than to leave Lynn in jail the next 18 months to finish a prison term so demanded by unreasonable Judge Sarmina.


    Lynn needs to man up and take his punishment he deserves, and Bergstrom needs to get his hand out of every parishioners pocket since the archdiocese is paying for his defense.

    You the parishioners need to tell Chaput the bank is closed. You won't go to hell.

    1. Without any regard for truth or the law you show your true colors as a bigot. Tell me, how often does a state supreme court reverse a unanimous decision of three judges on the superior court? Even one of the Supreme Court justices dissented from the majority and provided sound legal reasons for his dissent. No one else in judicial history has been treated like Msgr. Lynn who is simply being used as a political platform. Go back and read his family's statement
      This time let it soak in.

    2. You sure do use the word bigot easily. I had to go look it up. The first entry I got was "a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions". So I guess it means that calling someone a bigot makes the caller a bigot, but I'm not calling you that. I'm just saying, it's a tough word to use while being mindful of the definition.

      In any event, I do agree it must be very unusual for the Pa. Supreme Court to overrule a unanimous Superior Court ruling. It also seems like asking for "the same panel of judges that previously overturned Lynn's conviction" would be a fairly unusual motion to make. And appeals are expensive. I agree with the previous Anonymous that legal fees do have to be justified. Something for Lynn's appellate counsel to think about.

      So I agree with both Anonymous's, at the same time, and I have avoided bigotry I hope.

    3. A bigot is also someone who irrationally dislikes an entirr class of people. It is that sense of the word which I meant in my above post.

    4. @anonymous 4:17PM - I believe that Lynn's defense is on a 'pro bono' basis, so the Archdiocese is not paying for the lawyers' time. The AD simply provided the bail money, so chill!

      IMHO, the only folks going to hell in this charade are those responsible for Father Engelhardt's untimely death, and we all know who they are!

    5. No individual can be blamed for Engelhardt's death. He died from natural causes. If anyone is to blame it would be God above. He decided to take him.

      Its time to put Avery, Lynn, Engelhardt and Shero in the past tense, and wash your hands of them.

      Direct your prayers worthwhile like to those who lost their lives in the train derailment yesterday and to those still in the hospital.

      Your priorities are in the wrong order.

    6. What utter horsepoop.

    7. @anonymous 11:52 - sorry Charlie, but Avery, Shero, Lynn and Engelhardt are in my daily prayers, and will remain there until they are free.

      Father Engelhardt had pre-existing heart problems when he entered prison due largely to the stress caused by the false accusations leveled against him. Anyone who's either been incarcerated or just visiting someone behind bars will tell you medical care in prisons is really sub-standard.

      I wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear that Engelhardt's family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the (so called) corrections department.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it, asshole!

    8. So you know or his family knows this "pre-existing heart problems" was exasperated by stress ? He could have been sitting on a porcelain throne and keeled over. Would you or Engelhardt's family sue the toilet manufacturer, or maybe it was rough toilet paper he used in prison that stressed him out.

      Excuses,excuses, excuses will they ever end !

      Thanks for the chuckle though.

  4. God bless Monsignor Lynn's family for providing a truthful and well written statement!!!

  5. Msgr Lynn needs to lose a bit more weight. Prison will help him do that, right?

    1. Engaging in "ad hominem" attacks are puerile. His height, weight, age,etc. have nothing to do with any of this. In fact, even to point these things out shows a discriminatory attitude. Fat jokes went out of style long ago.

    2. He does need to lose another 70lbs., exercise, and put on a good diet.

      If anything should happen to him in prison it will be everybody else's fault but his own.

      Is that not right Anon 9:17 ?

  6. Father Lynn was made out to be the scapegoat. Ppl speak very highly of him. He did not touch any boys. His lawyer Tom B is a good guy who believes in father lynn. What i was told was in jail the word is dont mess with the priest or else

  7. Anon 8:05 I would like to say I think you are full of BS. There have been thousands of people who spoke highly of an individual who turned out to be a monster. I give examples like the TK killer, Green River killer and even John Wayne Gacy.

    Unless you had the same address that Lynn has now you again are full of BS. I will bet any prison you walk into today will have residents that have been abused while other individuals stood by and turned a blind eye to the abuse, and Lynn represents that. You making a statement like other prisoners were told not to mess with him or else is a blatant lie.

    I would have no argument if you said Lynn is in protective custody and I would have no doubt his welcoming committee being the guards have told him not to tell anyone what he has been convicted of doing.


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