Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lynn's Lawyer Seeks New Judge

Time for more grandstanding?
By Ralph Cipriano

This morning, Thomas A. Bergstrom finally got hold of his client, Msgr. William J. Lynn, to tell him the good news that his conviction had been vacated by the state Superior Court, and that Lynn was going to get a new trial.

The monsignor was "very pleased" to hear it, Bergstrom said. The two men discussed if and when Lynn was going to get out of jail. And then Lynn asked if Bergstrom knew what District Attorney Seth Williams was going to do next.

That's the big question. The district attorney, who has stonewalled this blog for three years, released a statement to The Philadelphia Inquirer that said the D.A. "is committed to protecting all the citizens of Philadelphia against crimes of violence such as those committed by Msgr. Lynn."

The district attorney has 14 days to decide whether he will appeal the latest reversal by the state Superior Court to the state Supreme Court. Frankly, the citizens of Philadelphia are more in danger from the district attorney's crimes of violence against justice in his so-called "historic" prosecution of the church then they are by any of the alleged acts that Lynn was tried for. Especially when you consider the very real possibility that the alleged victim in the case, Billy Doe, the credibility-challenged former altar boy, probably made the whole thing up.

While Lynn was waiting to get out of the prison at SCI-Waymart, his lawyer was busy in Philadelphia filing an emergency motion in Common Pleas Court to get the case reassigned to another judge. Even though his conviction is overturned, Lynn cannot be released from prison without an order from the trial judge, M. Teresa Sarmina.

"In light of the fact that the Superior Court's Dec. 22, 2015 opinion was based upon the improper ruling by the trial court to allow certain evidence -- coupled with the trial court's [Sarmina, J.] previous hard sentence and other rulings -- Lynn respectfully moves the court to reassign his case to a different judge," Bergstrom wrote in a motion filed today.

In his motion, Bergstrom argued that the state Superior Court had just decided that Judge Sarmina had abused her discretion by allowing the prosecution to enter in as evidence 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse. The cases dated back to the 1948, three years before Lynn was born, in documents maintained in the archdiocese's so-called secret archive files.

"The vast majority of the abusive acts occurred long before Lynn assumed the role of Secretary for Clergy," Bergstrom wrote. Bergstrom also pointed out how, in a previous appeal, when the state Superior Court previously ruled that Lynn should be "discharged forthwith," it was Judge Sarmina who decided that Lynn should remain in a rectory "on house arrest, and subject to electronic monitoring."

The judge has been hostile to the defendant in other ways, Bergstrom argued.

"During his release on bail to home confinement, Lynn requested of Judge Sarmina permission to marry his niece at her wedding ceremony on Aug. 15, 2014 in Bucks County," Bergstrom wrote. "Judge Sarmina granted his request to attend the meeting, but denied his request to perform the ceremony."

Judge Sarmina also declared that if she granted Lynn bail, she was worried that he might flee to the Vatican. It's another reason why Tom Bergstrom is seeking a new judge.

But if his request is not granted, Bergstrom will once again be in the uncomfortable position of going before Judge Sarmina to argue that his client deserves to get out of jail.

Meanwhile, in light of the state Superior Court's decision, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, fired some fresh criticism at Judge Sarmina.

"Finally, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was taken down for her disgraceful decision to present evidence against Lynn that antedated his birth," Donohue wrote. "The Superior Court judges ripped her for presenting evidence that was 'trivial or minimal.' It was obvious from her deceitful ploy that she was putting the entire Catholic Church on trial. But she is far from the only unethical official in this scam."

Donohue then preceded to criticize, among others, Billy Doe, D.A. Williams and the Inquirer.

"The key witness for Philly D.A. Seth Williams was 'Billy Doe,' a known drug addict, thief and serial liar who was kicked out of two high schools," Dononue wrote. "Even his own mother testified against him."

"The Philadelphia Inquirer was so anxious to put Lynn in the slammer that when I offered it $58,000 in 2013 to run a full-page ad exposing the many faces of corruption, I was turned down," Donohue wrote. "The depth and breadth of dishonesty, vengeance and bigotry that marks this witch-hunt is astounding. Shame on all the parties to it."


  1. Ralph, keep pushing. Rufus Seth Williams is a criminal and an unethical POS! He has destroyed this city with his criminal conduct and continues to do so. Lets keep talking about the above issue and his illegal conduct, but lets also continue the conversation about Rufus and his now released second in command Ed McCann and their criminal conduct that allowed for hundreds of violent criminals to be released from custody without proper legal cause and have now put all citizens of this city in danger, not to mention the millions of dollars they will cost the city because of their criminal conduct and unethical behavior. Ralph, ask why Ed Mcann left the DA's Office abruptly with only 26 years in. He did not leave, he was told he was leaving by Rufus Williams because their house of criminal cards is fast falling.

  2. You might add the Sarmina was almost 6 months late getting her so called 'opinion' to the Superior Court during Lynn's first appeal. As a matter of fact and record (check 2171 EDA 2012 on the PA Unified Judicial System), she had to be 'compelled' by the higher court to do her job. This cost Lynn another 6 months of needless incarceration with no consequences to herself.

    This vindictive woman clearly dishes out her own brand of (in)justice with impunity and certainly doesn't belong in judicial robes.

  3. Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a abusive priest was stirring not even a grade school teacher who all had made little boys the main feature.

    For it was because of a man named Seth who cared to put those animals in jail who will continue to fight to see they receive no bail.

    With his strangers of twelve he will always fight to put people like this in a cell even up to the final bell.

    So good people like him will be able to sing Merry Christmas one and all.

  4. I would agree Ralph since a fairy tale is defined as a story about goblins and MONSTERS or a story that is magical.

    What could be more magical then a man and his team going up against the untouchable catholic church and winning. A true David and Goliath

  5. I wonder which member of the Billy Doe entourage or victims' lobby I'm dealing with here. Why don't you come out from hiding and explain which interest group you belong to?

  6. Only a messenger. So you can call me Gabriel. St. Gabriel, patron saint of messengers

  7. The DA Should Drop The Case!

  8. I just hope Judge Sarmina and the DA Seth Williams stop at this point. Enough is enough with their Grudge against the Catholic Church. You know the Church is not just the Cardinals, Archbishops, Priests and Nuns it is also the People. The People are being punished each time too. The Taxpayer of Philadelphia and the good Catholic People who support the Archdiocese. All this money being wasted on trials, etc. It is bothers me to believe that the DA who is a member of this Archdiocese would continue to do such. It just is hard to digest that this is to protect the Citizens of Philadelphia. Does he really think we are that stupid? That the entire case has been for His Honor & Glory. Also, what about the case about Mr. Blessington? That just gets put under the rug until he gets some heat from his colleague. All this has to be remembered when the Citizens of Philadelphia & the members of the Archdiocese go to the Polls.

  9. To late now to ask anyone to stop. Victims and law enforcement NOW decide when enough is enough. The time you should have been asking people to stop is when your clergy was abusing children or when your Archdiocese was moving, hiding and protecting those abusive priests.

    If I was Lynn I too would be concerned on what Seth Williams is going to do next. Will he show him mercy and feel he has been punished enough for his crimes or will he want him to remain in prison until he feels he learned his lesson.

  10. Seth Williams would like all of us to believe that he is the reincarnation of Saint Thomas More. IMHO, he's just another slimy opportunist who will be attempting to exploit these bogus convictions in his quest for higher elected office. Mayor Williams, Governor Williams, Senator Williams...and so forth. His ego knows no bounds.

    1. Nobody wants him. Powerhouse law firms are not calling him and nobody is asking him to run for political office. Does not take a rocket scientist to find out why.

  11. Not only do we need a new judge, but a new DA to replace the unreasonable and unfit Seth williams. He is unyielding and sick enough to keep Mgr Lynn in prison for decades by labeling him a unrepentant rapist of children when facts speak otherwise. Those of us who are familiar with the details of this long running case are disgusted at the unprofessional conduct of the current DA.

  12. For three years, Seth Williams has not answered one question raised on this blog about all of the mistakes in his fatally flawed 2011 grand jury report and all the violations of standard investigatory policies in his self-described "historic" prosecution of the church.

    Williams has been aided in his stonewalling by the Inquirer and Daily News, who to date, have refused to hold him accountable.

    1. Media has double standard between Democrats and Republicans by not criticizing the Democrats in power.

  13. The Philadelphia District Attorney will announce today that he has filed an Application for En Banc Reargument in the case of Commonwealth vs. William Lynn with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania Eastern District. The announcement, which is in response to the court’s Dec. 22, 2015, decision to reverse the conviction of judgment of sentence for endangering the welfare of children, will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Ray Harley Training Room


    1. Only an idiot will do that as lawyers for Billy Doe will not allow him to testify in court thus letting a different Common Pleas judge to dismiss the sole child endangerment count. If State Supreme Court let's stand Lynns prison sentence, this can go to US District Court, where a judge will order Lynn immediately freed from prison by dismissing the case. Smart move would be letting him out of prison and lying low.

  14. The DA Is A Joke!!!! Stop The Shit.


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