The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office this afternoon announced it will not re-file a misdemeanor assault charge against the San Francisco man acquitted last week of felony assault and elder abuse that resulted from a confrontation with the Los Gatos priest he claims brutally raped him and his brother as children.
Prosecutor Vicki Gemetti is scheduled to make the decision official before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena at 9 a.m. Friday, July 20, in Department 34 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose, the DA announced in a press release.
On July 5, a 12-member jury found Lynch, 44, not guilty off the two felony charges, and acquitted him on the charge of misdemeanor elder abuse, but hung on the lower charge of misdemeanor assault on Rev. Jerold Lindner.
Gemetti had the option to re-file the misdemeanor charge on which the jury deadlocked 8-4.
The announcement follows days of speculation as to what the county's top prosecutor would do to Lynch, who's gained national attention for his plight against childhood sexual abuse. He's been particularly successful at shining a light on the decades-old issue of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and other denominations.
During a trial that began June 20, Lynch took the stand to testify about abuse he claimed he received at the hands of the priest, describing in graphic detail how he and his younger brother were raped and sodomized while his family participated in camping trips at Portola Redwoods State Park in the mid-'70s.
On May 10, 2010, Lindner admitted to the jury and a courtroom full of media, family and friends that he had indeed punched Lindner after he confronted him about the alleged abuse at the Los Gatos Sacred Heart Jesuit Center.
“We have heard the jury. We believe it is unlikely that a new jury would render a substantially different decision,” Rosen said of his decision in the release.
“We have heard Mr. Lynch,’’ Rosen added. “His story of abuse is powerful. We hope it lends strength to our ongoing efforts to ease the statutes of limitations on child molestation so we can bring more child molesters to justice. As public safety servants sworn to uphold justice, we worked to hold Mr. Lynch responsible for his violent criminal actions. While we were unable to do this, Mr. Lynch seems to have taken responsibility himself.”
After his acquittal, Lynch told the media: “"I was wrong for doing what I did -- in doing that I perpetuated the cycle of violence." And “I encourage people not to do what I did, the way I did it.”
District Attorney Rosen responded, saying “We agree.”
The DA’s Office also announced in the release that it is evaluating obstacles to filing a perjury charge against Lindner, who took the stand, and under oath denied ever molesting the Lynch brothers. Lynch's attorneys, Pat Harris and Paul Mones, as well as leaders with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, have been calling on Rosen to prosecute the priest for allegedly lying on the stand.