A Pennsylvania appeals court has reversed a 2012 ruling against a senior Catholic Church official convicted of covering up sexual abuses by priests. In June 2012, Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty of child endangerment for his alleged role in reassigning predators to new parishes in Philadelphia when he was secretary for the clergy from 1992 to 2004. Lynn’s conviction for covering up sexual abuse had been the first of its kind against a senior official of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S.
A unanimous decision released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Lynn was wrongly convicted and dismissed the criminal case against him. Lynn’s attorneys argued that the state’s child endangerment law at the time only applied to parents and caregivers, not supervisors like him. Lynn had already begun serving his three to six year prison sentence.