Convicted cleric Lynn denied house arrest

Monsignor William Lynn will remain in jail for at least a few more weeks as he awaits sentencing for child endangerment after his request for house arrest was denied yesterday by a judge.

Common Pleas Court Judge Teresa Sarmina turned down the request for home confinement and electronic monitoring, but agreed to move up his sentencing date from Aug. 13 to July 24.

“We did everything we were supposed to do and had it all in place and she denied the motion,” defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom said after the hearing.

Last week, Sarmina indicated that she could conditionally grant Lynn’s request, but ultimately found there were no grounds for the 61-year-old cleric to be released.

Prosecutors had argued that the monsignor was a flight risk given his conviction, although the defense vehemently denied it.

Lynn, the former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, faces up to seven years in prison after being convicted of child endangerment charges related to a boy abused by Rev. Edward Avery.

Lynn allowed Avery to remain in active ministry despite knowing that Avery had sexually abused another boy.

The jury acquitted Lynn on two other charges, including engaging in a conspiracy with others to cover up the abuse.

Defense attorneys will now turn their attention to getting a little jail time as possible for their client, while prosecutors have said they will seek the maximum sentence.

The jury could not reach a decision on Rev. James Brennan, Lynn’s co-defendant, who was accused of attempting to sexually assault a 14-year-old boy in 1996. Prosecutors have not said if they plan to retry Brennan.

Higher appeal

Defense attorneys have said they will likely appeal Lynn’s conviction after sentencing. They maintain the monsignor’s innocence and that prosecutors made him a scapegoat for the abuse. If the appeal is filed, the lawyers are expected to ask for Lynn to remain out on bail until an appeal can be heard.

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