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Church Official Sentenced to Prison for Sex Abuse Coverup

Posted Jul 24, 2012 11:12 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The first senior Roman Catholic official in the United States convicted for covering up sexual abuse by a priest has been sentenced to three to six years in prison.

Msgr. William Lynn of the Philadelphia Archdiocese was convicted last month on one count of child endangerment and acquitted on two other charges. The sentence imposed today was just below the maximum, the New York Times reports. Lynn’s lawyers had sought probation, according to the Associated Press.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told Lynn he enabled "monsters in clerical garb … to destroy the souls of children, to whom you turned a hard heart."

Lynn’s lawyers say the child endangerment law in effect at the time didn’t apply to supervisors and they plan to appeal. The conviction related to Lynn’s handling of allegations against former priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an altar boy.


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