Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Elephant In The Room Named Billy

By Ralph Cipriano

The defense lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn today talked in exasperation to the judge about the "elephant in the room."

Five days away from picking a jury in the retrial of his client, attorney Thomas Bergstrom went off about what the prosecutors in District Attorney Larry Krasner's office, in their latest slimy maneuver, were trying to pull in Courtroom 807 of the Criminal Justice Center.

"The Commonwealth is trying to take the victim out of this case," Bergstrom told Judge Gwendolyn Bright. And why is that? Because "They [the prosecutors] don't believe he has any credibility," Bergstrom said.

All of which sets up an epic clash starting at 10 a.m. Monday, when the district attorney and Lynn's defense lawyers are scheduled to meet to start picking a jury. According to a judge's order, Danny Gallagher, AKA Billy Doe, the credibility-deficient fraud of an alleged victim in this case, is required to be in attendance subject to a subpoena.

And if the elephant named Billy isn't in the room, according to the multiple signals the judge has been sending out, the retrial of the monsignor could be over early Monday morning, before the first juror is selected.

Here's Judge Bright's Jan. 31st order regarding Danny Gallagher's required attendance in Courtroom 807, starting Monday morning at 10 a.m.:

"The Commonwealth is ordered to subpoena as its named complainant, D.G., for trial and to make D.G. available as a witness during the duration of the trial."

D.G. stands for Danny Gallagher. Note that there are no if ands or buts in the judge's order.

But here's the problem. Danny Gallagher currently is down in Florida with his wife and kids and his $5 million that he stole in a civil settlement from the Catholic Church.

Gallagher the low-life former heroin dealer, addict and third-rate conman has zero reasons to be in attendance on Monday morning at the CJC, with or without a subpoena. Furthermore, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, the lead prosecutor in the case, has already told the judge that he doesn't intend to call Gallagher as a witness.

As stated previously, if Gallagher is called as a witness, the defense will immediately call as their witness Joe Walsh, the D.A.'s former lead detective in the case. So Walsh can testify that in a pretrial prep session, after he caught Gallagher telling one lie after another, that Gallagher admitted to the detective that he had made up his most sensational allegations in the case. And that he also admitted lying about being abused.

In addition to that, the defense can ask Gallagher about the $5 million that he stole from the church. And whether that would be a big enough incentive to lie.

Lynn's lawyers also can ask Gallagher about the civil deposition he gave in the case, where, when confronted with his many conflicting, contradictory and just plain ridiculous allegations of abuse that he's made over the years, Gallagher's only way out was to say he couldn't remember more than 130 times.

The D.A.'s office has also told the judge that under Progressive Larry Krasner, the D.A.'s office has an enlightened policy where they won't re-traumatize a victim of sexual assault by calling him or her as a witness.

So in principle, the D.A.'s office has already announced that it doesn't plan to call Gallagher as a witness.

The judge, however, immediately blew that off, saying that if the rest of the prosecutors in the country played by Progressive Larry Krasner's rules, nobody would ever be tried for sex abuse. And that she had already presided over hundreds of sex abuse cases.

There was a lot of skirmishing today during an hour-long pretrial hearing in Judge Bright's courtroom. The lawyers argued over whether the prosecution will be allowed to call Father Thomas P. Doyle as a witness, a Roman Catholic priest who's been an outspoken critic of the church's coverup of sex abuse.

Blessington told the judge he wanted Father Doyle to testify to the jury about "what a priest is and what a priest does." And how, according to the Catholic faith, a priest is "God's representative on earth."

Blessington also wants Father Doyle to explain canon law to the jury. Lynn's lawyers countered that Father Doyle's testimony would be a waste of time.

The judge seemed to agree. Especially when she repeatedly interrupted Blessington to remind him that this is a "simple endangerment case" involving one defendant, one alleged victim, one abusive priest, and one alleged act of endangering the welfare of a child, which is the charge that Msgr. Lynn is being tried on.

And that's "the case the commonwealth is going to try," the judge warned both sides.

But Lynn's lawyers warned that rather than retry Lynn, the prosecution prefers to put the Catholic Church on trial.

"They're prosecuting Msgr. Lynn for a nation-wide cover up," Mark Kasten, another lawyer for Lynn, told the judge. What the prosecution is trying to do is put the archdiocese and the Catholic Church on trial, and "offer up Msgr. Lynn as a scapegoat for the sins of the church," Kasten said.

Once again, the judge seemed to buy that argument.

"We're not bringing in the whole sins of the Catholic Church," she said. "And that's how this trial is going to proceed. We're not going to over-complicate this case."

The lawyers also argued over what portions of the previous trial, and previous grand jury appearances made by Msgr. Lynn, could be read into the record by the prosecutors. The lawyers also argued over whether any additional cases of sex abuse should be presented as evidence to show that the church habitually engaged in cover ups.

The prosecution wants to call as its lead witness detective James Dougherty. Dougherty's first job will be to read to the church's file concerning Father Edward Avery into the record.

Avery is the priest who pleaded guilty to abusing Danny Gallagher, and then recanted. Nobody will be surprised when he's called as a witness, if he stands up and pleads the Fifth.

And nobody will be surprised if jurors start nodding off during Dougherty's spellbinding oratory.

But mercifully, we may not get that far.

At the end of today's hearing, the judge asked lawyers on both sides to tell her in advance about any scheduling problems that might come up during the trial.

She didn't say it but she could have been alluding to say what if a witness under subpoena, the notorious D.G. perhaps, doesn't show up in the courtroom on Monday.

Both sets of lawyers sat there quietly and said nothing.

"I don't like surprises," the judge warned the lawyers.

Let's hope there's a big surprise Monday morning, when Danny Gallagher the lying weasel has the good sense not to show up in Judge Bright's courtroom.

Then, Bergstrom can stand up and point out that Gallagher isn't there, and that the prosecution is in violation of the judge's order.

He could then make a motion for the case to be dismissed.

It's an order that the judge, who seems to be running out of patience with this ridiculous case, may just grant and put this puppy out of its misery.

It would be a fitting end to a case where the D.A.'s office issued a grand jury report filled with lies, knowingly put a fraudulent sex abuse victim on the stand, and hid exculpatory documents and exculpatory witnesses that could have exonerated the defendant.

Also in attendance today was the long-suffering defendant, Msgr. Lynn, who looked weary and beaten down.

It doesn't make much sense retrying the case since Lynn has already served 33 months out of his minimum 36-month sentence, plus 18 months of house arrest.

A spectator asked the monsignor if, after ten years, he could believe that the case of the Commonwealth v. Lynn was still going on.

"I can't," he said.


  1. Thank you, Mr. Cipriano, for the update here. We have scheduled to have Masses prayed for Msgr. Lynn before and during the next few days. The Lord will cover this situation and defeat the evil one.

  2. Would love to see a lighting bolt hit the D.A.'s office.

  3. An elephant can see double jeopardy is inherent in this case

  4. Thanks for the excellent reporting Ralph. Will the public be allowed in the court room on Monday? Which court room would it be?

  5. Unless they shut down the court system, the Lynn trial is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Courtroom 807 of the Criminal Justice Center. If I find out differently I'll post it.

  6. Or better still, get a Federal Judge to block the trial from going on due to double Jeopardy issues inherent in the case. Most likely what will happen will be Krasner will move to delay the trial another 18 months citing the coronavirus as his excuse. If that is the case, his fitness as DA will be questioned because he has other cases on his docket. My advice to Bergstrom would be to look for a willing Federal Judge to give him the relief he sorely needs.

  7. What's the status of the trial?

  8. What did Krasner offer Lynn to settle the case as he wanted to him to serve 33 months in prison?


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