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View Full Version : Religion High-ranking priest guilty on one count in child sex abuse case


Pitt Gorilla
06-22-2012, 10:12 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/22/justice/pennsylvania-priest-abuse-trial/index.html

(CNN) -- Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking cleric accused of imperiling children by helping cover up sexual abuse, was found guilty Friday of one count of child endangerment.

He was found not guilty on a second count of endangerment and a conspiracy charge to protect a priest accused of abuse.

The jury was unable to bring a verdict against his co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was charged with attempted rape of a 14-year-old altar boy and endangering the welfare of a child.

Lynn was taken into custody after Friday's verdict, when the judge revoked his bail. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lindy, derided the decision not to let his client remain free on bond prior to sentencing, calling it "an unspeakable miscarriage of justice (for) a 61-year-old man with no prior record and long established ties to the community."

He is set to be sentenced August 13, court officials said, and could face up to seven years in prison for his conviction on a third-degree felony.

The trial marked the first time U.S. prosecutors charged not just priests who allegedly committed abuses but church leaders for failing to stop them.

Calling the verdict "historic," Philadelphia District attorney R. Seth Williams said Friday's decision sends a message about potential consequences of not reporting sexual abuse.

"Many people of many generations have unclean hands when it comes to this silence," Williams said, adding that others could also be investigated.

Terence McKiernan, who heads the advocacy website BishopAccountability.org, called the conviction "a watershed moment in the Catholic abuse crisis."

"Because of the Lynn verdict, bishops and church officials are now accountable. They are no longer immune from judgment and punishment," McKiernan said.

And Marci Hamilton, a victims' rights attorney, said the jury's verdict Friday -- as well as the decision by now-defrocked priest Edward Avery to plead guilty after admitting to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy -- suggests "the picture is now clear that the Philadelphia archdiocese permitted crimes against children."

The archdiocese issued its own statement after the verdict, though it did not mention the trial or either Lynn or Brennan by name. It did, however, insist that "the lessons of the last year have made our Church a more vigilant guardian of our people's safety."

"The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is on a journey of reform and renewal that requires honesty and hope," it said. "We are committed to providing support and assistance to parishioners as they and the Church seek to more deeply understand sexual violence, and to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to all, including past victims."

Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed

Lynn's attorney said he felt the jury agreed there was no "far flung conspiracy," though he conceded the prosecution "scored a victory" in securing the lone conviction -- one that made he and the monsignor "extremely upset."

"By finding him guilty, they're saying he helped endanger children," Lindy said. "It's the last thing he wanted to do. ... I don't think he's the evil person the district attorney is making him out to be."

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League, an advocacy group devoted to challenging defamation of or discrimination against Catholics, called the verdict a defeat for overzealous prosecutors and victims advocates who he claimed had unfairly targeted church leaders.

"The witch hunt has come to an end, and those who have been clamoring for blood lost big time," Donahue said in a statement. "They wanted the big prize -- they wanted to nail a high-ranking clergyman on conspiracy. ... Looks like their car ran out of gas in Philadelphia."

More than 60 witnesses and alleged clergy abuse victims testified during Lynn and Brennan's criminal trial, which began March 26 and wrapped up May 31, with jury deliberations beginning the next day.

Lynn's defense team argued that their client repeatedly told higher-ups about the alleged abuse and, under strict orders from late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, had no authority to remove priests from the ministry.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington characterized Lynn's behavior as "disgraceful," "shameful" and "ridiculous," sarcastically calling him a "hero" who put young people in harm's way.

"He actually looked you in the eye and said he put victims first. How dare he?" the prosecutor asked jurors during his more than 2˝-hour closing argument.
Lynn's conspiracy count related to an allegation that he schemed with Avery and other archdiocese officials to endanger children.

Avery had been due to go on trial with Brennan and Lynn, but he pleaded guilty in March to a sexual assault that occurred during the 1998-99 school year.
The 69-year-old was sentenced to 2˝ to five years in prison.

Brennan himself was removed from the active ministry in 2006. Two years later, he admitted that he had allowed the youngster to view pornography and sleep in the same bed with him in 1996, according to church investigators' testimony.

CNN's Ross Levitt contributed to this report.

healthpellets
06-23-2012, 09:18 AM
Hey Bishop Finn and Cardinal Dolan, that sound of footsteps you hear behind you is the American Justice System...

Bump
06-24-2012, 10:40 AM
it's pretty much common knowledge by now that if you let your son be an altar boy, there is a high risk of him getting raped. Maybe we should start putting this on the parents too.

Iz Zat Chew
06-25-2012, 06:35 AM
Whose worse? The priest or Sandusky?

Brainiac
06-25-2012, 07:52 AM
it's pretty much common knowledge by now that if you let your son be an altar boy, there is a high risk of him getting raped. Maybe we should start putting this on the parents too.
"Common knowledge"??? "High risk"???

There are over 400,000 priests in the world. Roughly 4% of them molest children, which is about the same percentage as the general population. (That by itself is a very depressing statistic, but I digress.)

Priests should be held to a higher standard than the general population, and it's disgusting that 4% are sex perverts who choose to victimize children. There's no defense for the guilty priests or for the Catholic Church who committed a malfeasance of duty by allowing it to happen.

However, your statement about common knowledge and high risk is pure hyperbole and it's flat out wrong. It's like saying don't send your son to boy scout camp because it's common knowledge that he'll get raped by a scout leader.

Brainiac
06-25-2012, 07:54 AM
Whose worse? The priest or Sandusky?
I'd say the priest, because he is assumed to be a spiritual leader.

But it's a close call. Let them both burn in hell.

Kyle DeLexus
06-25-2012, 08:45 AM
I'd say the priest, because he is assumed to be a spiritual leader.

But it's a close call. Let them both burn in hell.

One is a spiritual leader and the other preyed on kids through a charity.

Fuck them both.

patteeu
06-25-2012, 09:17 AM
Hey Bishop Finn and Cardinal Dolan, that sound of footsteps you hear behind you is the American Justice System...

I don't know exactly what the statute in question says or exactly what this clergyman is accused of doing, but I strongly doubt that justice was served here.

Bump
06-25-2012, 10:32 PM
so what happens when a priest gets caught fucking little boys? Do they go to prison? Are they inducted into a catholic hall of fame? what happens?

Dave Lane
06-25-2012, 10:44 PM
so what happens when a priest gets caught ****ing little boys? Do they go to prison? Are they inducted into a catholic hall of fame? what happens?

They get assigned to another church or told not to do it again. They don't have to face any justice or trial.

Dave Lane
06-25-2012, 10:46 PM
I don't know exactly what the statute in question says

The one that says you shouldn't be ****ing little boys in the ass that trust you.

Or covering up for those that do.

Bump
06-25-2012, 11:01 PM
They get assigned to another church or told not to do it again. They don't have to face any justice or trial.

no way

patteeu
06-26-2012, 09:02 AM
The one that says you shouldn't be ****ing little boys in the ass that trust you.

Or covering up for those that do.

We don't generally require people to take affirmative steps to report crimes. There certainly was no law on the book specifically requiring it in this context (as there are in some contexts like gunshot wounds at hospitals). The victim(s) could have reported the offending priest at any time and the police would have had no problem finding and arresting him. It's not like this guy helped the offender allude capture.

patteeu
06-26-2012, 09:03 AM
so what happens when a priest gets caught ****ing little boys? Do they go to prison? Are they inducted into a catholic hall of fame? what happens?

What do you mean by caught?

Caught by the victim's parents? Often they go unpunished because the victim's parents want to keep everything quite so their child doesn't have to go through it all again.

Caught by the police? Usually they are arrested.

Bump
06-26-2012, 10:23 AM
However, your statement about common knowledge and high risk is pure hyperbole and it's flat out wrong. It's like saying don't send your son to boy scout camp because it's common knowledge that he'll get raped by a scout leader.

no it's not, it's spot on. Everybody knows that priests rape boys, unless you live under a rock.

and where are the stats that back up boy scouts getting raped? I haven't heard anything about it.

I'm just saying, if you are a parent, why would you let your son be an altar boy? Knowing how common it is for them to get raped and the priests always get away with it too.

cosmo20002
06-26-2012, 10:29 AM
no it's not, it's spot on. Everybody knows that priests rape boys, unless you live under a rock.

and where are the stats that back up boy scouts getting raped? I haven't heard anything about it.

I'm just saying, if you are a parent, why would you let your son be an altar boy? Knowing how common it is for them to get raped and the priests always get away with it too.

So they can bond over a shared experience?

Bump
06-26-2012, 10:30 AM
What do you mean by caught?

Caught by the victim's parents? Often they go unpunished because the victim's parents want to keep everything quite so their child doesn't have to go through it all again.

Caught by the police? Usually they are arrested.

Someone said that priests have a special immunity to the law, I didn't believe it and I'm not finding anything on google about it except a lot of questions with no legit answers.

cosmo20002
06-26-2012, 10:33 AM
Someone said that priests have a special immunity to the law, I didn't believe it and I'm not finding anything on google about it except a lot of questions with no legit answers.

They don't have any immunity in regards to molesting children.

Pitt Gorilla
06-26-2012, 10:39 AM
We don't generally require people to take affirmative steps to report crimes. There certainly was no law on the book specifically requiring it in this context (as there are in some contexts like gunshot wounds at hospitals). The victim(s) could have reported the offending priest at any time and the police would have had no problem finding and arresting him. It's not like this guy helped the offender allude capture.There was no law requiring it?

http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/editorial/new-hampshire-s-child-abuse-reporting-law-is-strong/article_5db571a0-0677-5155-a9d9-0781b51dec95.html

Friday’s conviction of former Penn State athletics coach Jerry Sandusky was about his sexual abuse of 10 young males during a 15-year period.

But by inference the charges against him also concerned the failure of a system under which more than a few people kept mum on suspicions of abuse during that time — a failure underscored by the virtual flood of abuse-reporting legislation across the country since the charges against the 67-year-old Sandusky were filed last fall.

The National Council of State Legislatures says that so far this year more than 100 bills have been filed in 30 states and the District of Columbia to toughen up rules for reporting suspected abuse of children. In 10 states, new laws have been enacted.

New Hampshire is not among those jurisdictions because, to its credit, its mandatory reporting statute has long been broadly inclusive. Whereas some states, such as Pennsylvania, required practitioners of only certain professions to speak up when they sensed something wrong — among them nurses, clergy members, day care workers, but not athletic coaches — the Granite State since 1979 has required any person who suspects child abuse to go to the authorities.

Now, laws are only as good as their enforcement, as in the conviction of a top-level Catholic church official in Pennsylvania, also Friday, of covering-up for pedophile priests over many years.

And, to be sure, not all reports of suspected child abuse lead to findings of impropriety or illegality. Each year in New Hampshire, about 8,000 cases of suspected abuse and neglect are examined by state child welfare authorities, and only about eight percent of the cases result in actual interventions.

Those numbers could support conclusions that the problem isn’t under-reporting of suspected abuse, but the opposite. Still, assuming that child welfare authorities act with discretion in their assessments of cases, the system here seems to be supported by appropriate law, which reads:

“169-C:29 Persons Required to Report. — Any physician, surgeon, county medical examiner, psychiatrist, resident, intern, dentist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, therapist, registered nurse, hospital personnel (engaged in admission, examination, care and treatment of persons), Christian Science practitioner, teacher, school official, school nurse, school counselor, social worker, day care worker, any other child or foster care worker, law enforcement official, priest, minister, or rabbi or any other person having reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the same in accordance with this chapter.”

patteeu
06-26-2012, 12:20 PM
no it's not, it's spot on. Everybody knows that priests rape boys, unless you live under a rock.

and where are the stats that back up boy scouts getting raped? I haven't heard anything about it.

I'm just saying, if you are a parent, why would you let your son be an altar boy? Knowing how common it is for them to get raped and the priests always get away with it too.

It's very rare. There's no more reason to deny your boy being an altar boy than there is to tell him he can't go to basketball camp or join the swim team. Most of the horror stories that cloud your perception are decades old anyway.

patteeu
06-26-2012, 12:21 PM
Someone said that priests have a special immunity to the law, I didn't believe it and I'm not finding anything on google about it except a lot of questions with no legit answers.

They have no special immunity.

Bump
06-26-2012, 12:35 PM
It's very rare. There's no more reason to deny your boy being an altar boy than there is to tell him he can't go to basketball camp or join the swim team. Most of the horror stories that cloud your perception are decades old anyway.

lol, how is it very rare? It happens at a much higher rate than anything else. Basically, if you let your kid be an altar boy, you're basically letting him get raped.

It most certainly is common knowledge that priests love raping little boys, everybody knows this! How do you not? They even made a south park episode because it happens so often and these are just the cases that make the news, who knows how many go unnoticed.

You don't hear about basketball coaches raping kids ever, so you can't compare that. The only thing you could compare it to is prison or anything else that's known to have a lot of rape.

patteeu
06-26-2012, 12:39 PM
There was no law requiring it?

http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/editorial/new-hampshire-s-child-abuse-reporting-law-is-strong/article_5db571a0-0677-5155-a9d9-0781b51dec95.html

...

Ok, fair enough. Some states have expanded their "must report" laws to cover clergy in certain situations. I stand corrected on that point. Interestingly though, the clergyman in this case wasn't prosecuted under such a statute.

cosmo20002
06-26-2012, 01:19 PM
They have no special immunity.

Except from their employer, apparently.