Monsignor's Sex Abuse Cover-Up Conviction Overturned

Monsignor's Sex Abuse Cover-Up Conviction Overturned

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PHILADELPHIA -

We're continuing to follow developments Friday morning as the first U.S. priest convicted of mishandling sex abuse cases will soon be a free man.

A superior court panel overturned Monsignor William Lynn's conviction for child endangerment.

The panel of three judges decided there wasn't enough evidence to prove Lynn committed the crime.

He was found guilty of covering up sex-abuse claims last year.

The specific case prosecutors brought up was Lynn's role in hiding the sexual abuse against an altar boy by convicted priest Edward Avery.

But Lynn's attorney says the law is intended for parents and caregivers, not supervisors like Lynn.

"Monsignor Lynn never saw this boy, never met him, never knew he existed," said Tom Bergstrom, Lynn's attorney. "The young man came forward in 2010 with claims he was assaulted in 1998, so it was a complete stretch from beginning to end."

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is not happy with the court's decision, releasing a statement D.A. Seth Williams that said, "I am disappointed and strongly disagree with the court's decision. While we are deciding what our next course of action will be, we most likely will be appealing this decision."

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also released a statement, saying it "also expressed hope that the nature of the sentence imposed on Monsignor Lynn would be objectively reviewed. That has happened."

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