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William Lynch's Misdemeanor Assault Charge Officially Dismissed

Court hearing Friday morning ends San Francisco man's Los Gatos priest-beating case.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena on Friday, dismissed a misdemeanor assault charge that still formally loomed over the San Francisco man's head.

Cena asked Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Vicki Gemetti whether she wanted to dismiss the charge against Lynch on which the jury deadlocked 8-4 for an admitted May 10, 2010 confrontation with Los Gatos Jesuit priest Jerold Lindner whom Lynch says raped and sodomized him as a boy, and she answered in the affirmative.

The hearing, which lasted about 30 seconds, was important because it represented for Lynch, 44, "the end of a long and arduous journey and one in which he didn't really know what the outcome was going to be," said Lynch's attorney Paul Mones.

; however the hearing formally threw out the claim and officially ended the high-profile case. Lynch was acquitted of felony assault and elder abuse and misdemeanor elder abuse by the jury. However, the jury hung on the lesser charge of assault. Had he been found guilty, he faced up to four years in prison.

Lynch's bail amount of $25,000 was also released, Mones said.

"Mr. Lynch, for the first time in his own life, can actually take a deep breath. He feels that he got his chance to put his story in front of the jury and again he emphasized that resorting to violence is not what he wanted to take away from this, but rather change the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse," Mones said.

The priest, who took the stand on June 20, the opening day of the trial, testified under oath that he had not molested Lynch or his brother while on camping trips in the '70s. The brothers claim he raped and sodomized them causing them severe trauma.

The Lynch brothers won a $600,000 settlement against the Jesuit Order in 1998 after filing a civil lawsuit and members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests claim more than a dozen victims have come forward alleging the priest sexually abused them.

"It's now up to the prosecution to decide. Mr. Lynch is willing to meet with the DA's office and give whatever information he can give to bring Mr. Lindner to justice," Mones said.

In California, the statute of limitations—the time victims have after a crime is committed to file charges—is usually seven years. However, Mones explained, the statute is different for various offenses and the nature of the sexual crimes committed.

In Lynch's case, the abuse happened more than three decades ago, too long for the San Francisco man to file charges against Lindner. The priest, now 67, resides at the Los Gatos Sacred Heart Jesuit Center on College Avenue along with other Jesuits believed to have been removed from ministry due to sexual abuse allegations.

"Mr. Lynch wants the statute of limitations done away with," Mones said. "We want victims who've been sexually abused, especially those who are sexually abused the way he was, to not have any restrictions as to when they can pursue justice."

Mones is a high profile attorney specializing in the defense of criminal and civil child and physical abuse cases. The last case he represented on behalf of victims of sexual abuse was in Portland, OR against the Boy Scouts of America winning a $20 million judgment.

Carolyn Neal July 21, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I know it was announced last week to the press, but a small part of me worried the DA would change their mind and refile. I am proud of William for having the courage to tell the truth and being willing to accept responsibility;so few people are these days. I am grateful to the jurors for listening and for their courage in rendering the only just verdict possible. The focus can now shift to changing the statute of limitations so that more survivors can be heard and heal.
LoyolaAlum July 21, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Regarding Fr. Lindner, and Lynch's attorney Paul Mones’ experience with the Boy Scouts, “Sacrilege, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church” by Leon J. Podles, cited a number of examples of credibly-charged Catholic priest sex abusers being active in the Boy Scouts. Lindner was active with the Boy Scouts for possibly as long as 5 decades. Lindner joined the Boy Scouts in the 1950s and had a troop of 75 Boy Scouts in 1962 when he was only 18. In 1969, the Jesuit Order sent Lindner to earn a master's degree in English at St. Louis University in Missouri, where he was active in an urban Boy Scout troop. Lindner returned to St. Ignatius and taught English there from 1976 to 1982. He was also Scoutmaster for an Oakland troop and accompanied boys on weekend camping and ski trips. During at least part of his 1982 - 1997 Loyola High School, Los Angeles tenure Lindner served as an assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 1193 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 4-miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It included mostly lower-income Puerto Rican boys. Lindner advanced to be the Boy Scout Chaplain for the Catholic Committee on Scouting, Los Angles Area Council in 1994.
Larry Arzie July 21, 2012 at 02:50 PM
The D.A.'s office is under political pressure and did what they feel is was not right. When does it become right? I think this is an example.
LoyolaAlum July 24, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Msgr. Lynn Sentenced to 3 to 6 Years in Prison on July 24th. Monsignor William Lynn will spend three to six years in prison for his felony child endangerment conviction. A number of current and previous Jesuit officials at Los Gatos Jesuit Center may deserve the same sentence.

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