Monsignor William Lynn was ordered back to prison after a Philadelphia judge revoked his bail.
Lynn, who was convicted in landmark 2012 trial of violating the state’s child endangerment laws for failing to supervise a priest who was known to known to sexually abuse altar boys, has been on house arrest since 2013 when the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed his conviction. On Monday, however, the state’s Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court’s decision.
At a bail hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington argued that sending Lynn back to prison shouldn't be a hard decision to make.
"His conviction is back in, so he should go back in," Blessington said. "It's really that simple."
Lynn said little when Judge Teresa Sarmina, who once described Lynn as someone who "facilitated and supported monsters in clerical garb who destroyed the souls of children," announced she was sending Lynn back to prison.
His lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, said Sarmina’s decision was not a surprise.
“We expected it,” Bergstrom said.
Lynn served as a secretary for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In that role he supervised hundreds of priests and was responsible for transferring them between parishes, sometimes after those priests had been accused of sexual abuse.
He was the first supervisor in the U.S. to be convicted in the church’s sexual abuse scandal. He was not convicted of actually abusing children.
In reversing his conviction, the Superior Court found that Lynn was not a supervisor responsible for the care of children. While the Supreme Court has reversed that decision,
Lynn’s lawyers have filed a host of appeals on other issues and say he may see his conviction reversed on any of them.
Bergstrom says Sarmina should not have sent Lynn back to prison.
“I think there is no support legally or factually for what she did,” Bergstrom said. “She’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it,” Bergstrom said.