PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 28, 2015) – The Philadelphia District Attorney today released the following statement after filing an application for En Banc Reargument in the case of Commonwealth vs. William Lynn with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania Eastern District:
One in four women and one in six men are sexually abused before the age of eighteen and ninety percent of those who are sexually assaulted know their attacker.
The victim in this case knew his attacker and Monsignor William Lynn covered up Father Avery’s record. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring the safety of all the citizens of Philadelphia and, today specifically, the victim of Monsignor Lynn. My office will continue to use all its resources to ensure that Defendant Lynn remains in state custody as ordered by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Theresa Sarmina. It is our position that the trial court properly admitted into evidence “other bad acts” evidence which showed a pattern and practice of concealment and protection of child-sexual-predator priests by the Defendant. This same evidence also established the Defendant’s expert knowledge of the characteristics of pedophiles and thus was essential to meeting the Commonwealth’s burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A Philadelphia jury of twelve men and women heard all the evidence and after thoughtful deliberation found Defendant Lynn guilty of Endangering the Welfare of Children. The evidence presented at trial, showed the Philadelphia jury and the world that the Defendant’s handling of Father Avery was completely typical of his handling of other similar predator priests and established that the Defendant knew just how dangerous such priests were.
Today, my office filed a Petition for En Banc Reargument so the entire panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court can decide all of the outstanding issues on appeal which remain unconsidered and to reconsider the 2-1 panel majority granting a new trial.
Meanwhile, we will fight to keep Monsignor Lynn in state custody where he belongs.
The announcement is in response to the Superior Court’s Dec. 22, 2015, decision to reverse the conviction of judgment of sentence for Endangering the Welfare of Children.