William Lynch, has began a nonprofit organization to help sexual abuse victims.
Speaking to reporters after the not-guilty verdict was read by the jury in Department 34 of the San Jose Hall of Justice the afternoon of July 5, Lynch said he wanted to start an agency that would also help repeal the statute of limitations for sex abuse cases.
Lynch, 44, was acquitted of felony The jury also found him not guilty of misdemeanor elder abuse, but hung 8-4 on the lesser misdemeanor assault charge.
In Lynch's case, although he and his brother brought a civil suit against Father Jerold Lindner in 1998 and settled out of court for $625,000, he was prevented from pursuing criminal charges against the cleric since the alleged abuse was committed in 1975, when he was 7 and his brother was 4.
Lynch's nonprofit is called Roots for Invidividual & Social Enterprise, or RISE. The site says its mission is to "end the cycle of sexual abuse against children." It further states that RISE is a program and foundation for victims of sexual abuse providing health services, legal representation, and community advocacy to promote awareness and policies for social change.
The site also says the organization's purpose is to prevent child sexual abuse and empower children and adults affected by child sexual abuse to live peaceful and productive lives.
"Over time I have personally spoken with many survivors of sexual abuse. I have discovered that one of the greatest challenges to survivors of sexual abuse is the ability to become economically stable and flourish," Lynch writes on the website.
"As time passes adult victims of sexual abuse face a competitive world in which we often feel ‘behind’ and our choices seem narrow … as we look to the future it often appears that we are far behind. The beginning of ending the cycle of sexual abuse has to start with the survivors gaining emotional and financial independence. It is a real struggle I have seen with others and experienced myself, as we struggle to emerge whole, complete, and transformed. Despite what we have endured, we can become self-realized. This organization is committed to providing assistance to those who need it, can benefit from it, in any way they need to move forward, flourish and transform their lives."
Lynch has pledged to do everything in his power to get the statute of limitations repealed for sex abuse cases.
During a press conference last Thursday, he said when his quest for the truth about the alleged abuse at the hands of the priest began in 1996, the biggest motivating factor for seeking retribution against the cleric and the Jesuit Order was protecting children from sexual abuse.
"Everything I did was predicated on that," Lynch said, encouraging victims to come forward, seek healing and tell their stories. He explained his nonprofit would focus on ending the cycle of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other "offending organizations."
"You can come forward. You can seek justice and you can find justice in many forms. We need to realize this all begins with the individual coming forward and it has to be survivors leading the way because we're the ones who have experienced the abuse," he said.
Lynch is expected to appear in court Thursday to learn whether the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will retry him on the charge that the jury deadlocked 8-4 on—simple assault of the priest.
Meanwhile, Lynch's attorney Pat Harris, with the reputable law firm of Geragos & Geragos in Los Angeles, is asking the DA's Office to file perjury charges against Lindner, 67, who testified under oath before prosecutor Vicki Gemetti that he had not molested Lynch and his brother.
During opening statements at the start of the trial, Gemetti told the jury that the priest had indeed molested Lynch and would lie about it on the stand.
Lindner's testimony was stricken from the record by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena. Under advice from attorney Joe Wall Jr., Lindner invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and was never cross-examined by the defense.
"They told you he was going to perjure himself. He got on the stand and perjured himself and if this DA's Office, [which] is so fond of talking about the rule of law ... and how in every case the rule of law must be followed, then next week, Jerold Lindner better be in handcuffs in this courthouse," Harris said the day after the verdict was issued.
And two groups that focus on clergy sex crime and cover ups are also urging the DA's Office to file perjury charges against Lindner maintaining he's allegedly molested more than a dozen children, including his sister, three nieces and a nephew.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and the National Survivors Advocate Coalition are writing Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, urging him to pursue criminal charges against Lindner, whom both groups believe lied on the witness stand during the trial.
The California Province of Jesuits has settled cases with several of Lindner's victims, including Lynch, and has said publicly that Lindner sexually abused children. The Jesuits also sent Lindner to a church-run facility for child molesting clerics, according to SNAP.
"You prosecuted Will Lynch, knowing full well that it’s unlikely his alleged crime, if not punished, would be repeated by others," says a letter written to Rosen by David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP; Kristine Ward, chairwoman of NSAC; and Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP. "But surely you realize that Fr. Lindner’s alleged crime – perjury – will very likely be repeated by others if Lindner is not punished."