SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 27, 2013

Pa. court reverses church official's conviction

(Continued)

Bergstrom had also challenged that decision on appeal, calling it unfair.

The Superior Court never addressed that concern or other alleged trial errors, concluding the charges themselves were flawed because Lynn was charged under an endangerment law adopted after he left his church post.

The court found that Lynn didn’t supervise Avery’s accuser and “did not have any specific information that Avery intended or was preparing to molest (the boy) or any other child.”

The archdiocese said in a statement that its handling of abuse complaints “has changed dramatically since the events over 10 years ago that were at the center of the trial.” Over the past two years, Chaput has turned over sex-abuse complaints to prosecutors and ousted at least nine accused priests from ministry, while restoring others to their jobs after finding complaints unfounded.

The archdiocese has called the sentence excessive and noted yesterday that it had hoped that Lynn’s sentence would be reviewed.

“We recognize that today’s news is especially difficult for survivors and their families. We profoundly regret their pain,” the archdiocese said.

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