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Monsignor William Lynn
Monsignor William Lynn
Image: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

First US church official convicted of a crime in relation to handling abuse

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for how he handled sex-abuse accusations.
Jun 22nd 2012, 7:20 PM 4,077 21

A ROMAN CATHOLIC church official has been convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse trial in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for how he handled sex-abuse accusations.

Lynn has been on leave from the church since his arrest last year. The criminal case stems from his long stint as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, mostly under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Defense lawyers say he tried to document the claims, get priests into treatment and alert his bishop to problem priests. Lynn says the cardinal was the ultimate authority on what happened to the priests.

Prosecutors argue that he could have called police or quit the job if efforts to help victims were being stymied.

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