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DA plans to retry Catholic administrator after second release from prison

Monsignor William Lynn freed on bail after appellate court throws out child endangerment conviction.

Monsignor William Lynn

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The highest ranking Catholic clergy member convicted of criminal charges as a result of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse scandal won a second release from prison on Tuesday, but a retrial is awaiting him.

Monsignor William Lynn, who was sentenced to three to six years in prison on charges of child endangerment in 2012, was freed on bail Tuesday morning, prosecutors said. An appeals court had ruled that certain evidence was improperly allowed at his first trial and ordered a new trial.

This marks the second time Lynn, 65, was let out of jail.

An appeals court previously freed Lynn after ruling that child endangerment laws shouldn't apply to administrators like him in 2013. But the state Supreme Court disagreed and sent Lynn back to prison in 2015.

Prosecutors from the office of District Attorney Seth Williams announced their intention to pursue a new conviction of Lynn during Tuesday's hearing.

"Today in court, we announced that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will retry Monsignor Lynn on the charge of Endangering the Welfare of Children," Williams said in a statement.

Williams has long claimed the conviction of Lynn, who was accused of placing an abusive priest in a parish where the priest abused a minor, as one of his office's most significant victories, and now intends to pursue a second trial.

"The appellate court recently ordered that the case be remanded for a new trial," Williams' statement continued. "There is substantial evidence, including testimony from the defendant himself, to establish his guilt. A retrial is the right thing to do in the pursuit of justice."

Lynn has currently served nearly three years of his original sentence and would have been up for parole in October, according to the Inquirer.

 

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