D.A. Williams files graphic appeal to reinstate Msgr. William Lynn’s conviction

william lynn
Msgr. William Lynn. Credit: Metro file photo

As previously pledged, the office of district attorney Seth Williams filed an appeal Monday to the state Supreme Court asking them to re-convict Msgr. William Lynn on child endangerment charges.

Lynn, 62, was released Dec. 26 after a three-judge appeals court reversed his 2012 conviction.

The appeals panel ruled that child endangerment laws were not applicable to a supervisor like Lynn until the state legislature changed those laws to include supervisors in 2007. The conduct for which Lynn was convicted occurred in 1998.

The appeals papers from the D.A.’s office argue legally that child endangerment statutes should not have been read as a “strict construction.”

The appeal also details what they say was Lynn’s knowledge of past molestations of Father Edward Avery, his decision to return him to a Philadelphia parish rectory near a grade school over a therapist’s concerns, and Avery’s reported molestation at that parish.

Lynn sent Avery to Saint John Vianney, an Archdiocese-operated mental health facility, in 1992, after a male reported that he had been molested by Avery in the late 70s, according to appeals paper.

Prosecutors say that Lynn concealed the nature of Avery’s activities in a referral letter, reportedly only saying that he took a minor to a place that served alcohol and had been drinking.

“The therapist reported ‘concerns about the existence of other victims,’ and the facility recommended that as part of ‘continued outpatient treatment’ Avery be placed in an assignment ‘excluding adolescents,’” the papers state.

However, the papers claim Lynn then assigned Avery to live at St. Jerome’s Parish, where Avery encountered a 10-year-old boy who had previously been molested by Father Charles Englehardt.

The papers state that in 1999 Avery told the child he knew about his “sessions” with Englehardt and would begin the same with the child; and a week later told the child their “sessions would begin,” led the child to a storage room, played music, and forced the child to do a “striptease” while “watching with an ‘eerie smile.’”

Avery reportedly then told the child that “this was what god wants” and that it was “time to become a man,” then molested the child, the appeal states.

Avery was previously sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years in prison for the molestation.

Lynn was sentenced to three to six years in prison for child endangerment and had served 18 months before being released from prison earlier this month.

Lynn is currently free on bail, was required to surrender his passport and is under court order to wear a GPS-monitoring bracelet while this appeal is pending.


Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…


Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.


Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.