Criminal Justice

Monsignor Is 1st Senior Roman Catholic Official in US Convicted re Handling of Child Sex-Abuse Cases

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Monsignor William Lynn on Friday became the first senior Roman Catholic official in the U.S. to be criminally convicted concerning oversight of claimed child sex-abuse by priests.

He was found guilty of child endangerment after a jury deliberated for nearly two weeks, but acquitted of conspiracy and a second charge of child endangerment, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

Lynn, who is now 61, had his bail revoked and was taken into custody after the verdict. He served from 1992 to 2004 as secretary for clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Most of that time, he worked under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who was the final decision-maker concerning what to do with priests accused of abuse, according to trial testimony.

The jury deadlocked concerning a co-defendant priest who was accused of directly abusing a child, and a second co-defendant priest pleaded guilty before trial to a sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy at church.

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