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Philadelphia prosecutor criticizes decision to allow bail for priest

Jan. 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said the involvement of the Catholic Church in helping a priest convicted of sex abuse post bail was "disgusting."

Williams blasted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Tuesday after an appeals court overturned Monsignor William J. Lynn's conviction for crimes related to sex abuse in the church, and the archdiocese posted $25,000 in bail.

"It's disgusting that they would pay to free this man," Williams said at a news conference, adding that as a top archdiocesan administrator, Lynn, 62, protected pedophiles. Williams referred to the archdiocese's practice as "business as usual" by "protecting its own."

Lynn needed to post 10 percent of the $250,000 bail set by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina.

A spokesman for the archdiocese, Ken Gavin, only confirmed that it assisted with Lynn's bail, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

The state Supreme Court overturned Sarmina's decision to allow Lynn to be prosecuted under the state's child-endangerment law. He had served 18 months of a three- to six-year sentence, but Sarmina ruled he could be freed on bail while the Supreme Court decides whether his conviction was legal.

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