Pa. judge defends church aide’s trial, conviction

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia judge is defending her decisions in the trial of the first Catholic Church official in the U.S. to be charged and convicted in the cover-up of the priest abuse scandal.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina argues Monsignor William Lynn lied to perpetuate a church cover-up of child sexual abuse. Her opinion explains some of her trial decisions, which Lynn plans to challenge on appeal.

The Legal Intelligencer first reported on the judge’s April 12 ruling on Wednesday.

Lynn was a longtime secretary for clergy. He was convicted of child endangerment and is serving a three- to six-year prison term.

Defense lawyers argue the judge unfairly let jurors hear about complaints filed long before Lynn worked at the Philadelphia archdiocese. The judge says the other cases help show how Lynn continued his predecessors’ cover-up.

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