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Bail at $250,000 after priest's child endangerment conviction reversed

Dec. 30, 2013 at 2:23 PM   |   Comments

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Bail was set at $250,000 Monday for a Philadelphia priest after an appeals court ruled he was wrongly convicted of endangering children.

Monsignor William J. Lynn, 62, the first Catholic Church official in the country to be convicted and imprisoned for covering up child sex abuse by priests, was ordered by Common Pleas judge M. Teresa Sarmina to surrender his passport and be subject to electronic monitoring and weekly reporting while on bail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the three-judge Superior Court said the state's child-endangerment law was misapplied by prosecutors and by Sarmina in claiming Lynn was criminally responsible because he supervised a priest, Edward Avery, when Avery sexually abused an altar boy in the 1990s.

The Supreme Court called Sarmina's interpretation of the law "fundamentally flawed" and noted the law at the time applied only to direct caretakers of children. The law was broadened in 2007 to include supervisors in positions such as Lynn's.

Lynn has served 18 months of a three-to-six year prison term.

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