Philly priest ordered to stand trial

July 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, July 31 (UPI) -- Defense attorneys under a gag order could not comment on a ruling that allows a Roman Catholic priest to face trial in a Philadelphia sexual abuse case.

A gag order prevents comment on the case of Monsignor William Lynn, a former ranking official at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who is accused of using his office to keep a lid on allegations against various priests, the Philadelphia Inquirer said Sunday.

It was not known if an appeal would be filed.

Lynn faces trial at a later date after a judge ruled Friday that he should stand trial with four defendants charged with sexually assaulting young boys in the 1990s. Lynn faces a charge of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children.

Prosecutors say Lynn, who ran the archdiocese clergy office, quietly reassigned priests accused of misconduct in order to keep the allegations secret.

Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom Friday rejected Lynn's contention that he should not be charged under a law passed in 2007 because the alleged incidents took place before the law was passed. The judge said she found that prosecutors had sufficient evidence that applicable laws were violated, the Inquirer said.

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