Thursday, July 05, 2012

William Lynch Acquitted of Beating Priest Who Abused Him

Last week I asked readers if they would convict an abuse victim who years later beat up the priest who had raped him and his brother (ages then 7 and 4).  The abuse wasn't disputed by the prosecutor (though the priest denied it), nor was the attack, years later, at a retirement home for priests (yes, he was still a priest).

It just seemed to me that the jury wasn't going to punish the man who had been abused for attacking the priest who still denied it happened.

And the jury just acquitted him.  From the Daily Mail.

A jury acquitted a man Thursday of assaulting a priest he says molested him more than three decades ago during a camping trip and left him with tormented memories that led to alcohol abuse, depression and suicide attempts.
The verdict came after defendant William Lynch took the witness stand during the two-week trial and acknowledged punching Jerold Lindner several times on May 10, 2010.
While previously pleading not guilty, Lynch said he hoped to use the case to publicly shame Lindner and bring further attention to the Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal. . .
Lynch refused to discuss a plea bargain with prosecutors, even when he was promised he could avoid prison and would serve no more than a year in exchange for a guilty plea.

Prosecutors said they were left with little choice but to take the case to trial and ask the jury to find Lynch guilty of felony assault and felony elder abuse. Lindner was 65 at the time of the beating.
You can read the whole article including photos at the Daily Mail.

Despite my strong belief in the rule of law, this decision makes sense to me.  Of course, that conclusion includes the details of the case in which the abuser had never been reported to the police, and was still a priest living in a retirement home for priests.  And still denied he'd done anything wrong. 

I hope this public affirmation helps Mr. Lynch get on with his life and leave this terrible part of it behind now. 

[I reworded the original title which I thought too clunky.]

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