Jury Gets the Case of Man Who Admits Assaulting Priest He Alleges Molested Him

By: Brian Shields - Mon, 02 Jul 2012 21:28:29 -0800

SAN JOSE (KRON) -- The jury now has the case of a man who confessed on the stand to assaulting the retired priest he says molested him and his brother during a camping trip 35 years ago.

Prosecutors say William Lynch should be convicted of felony assault and elder abuse for attacking retired priest Jerry Lindler at a nursing home where the reverend lives.

Defense attorneys are hoping the jury either acquits Lynch or convicts him of a misdemeanor charge.

"What I tried to show them was that realistically this is a case where one person came in and specifically told the truth while the other one was a coward who refused to come in and testify," defense attorney Pat Harris told reporters after closing arguments.  "I told them that I think that, in itself, shows the unfairness of this prosecution."

Co-defense counsel Paul Mones says the key to the defense case is what Lynch says Lindler did to him and his younger brother all those years ago.

"We focused on that abuse because it was important for them to understand the pain that Will went through for all those years." Mones added.

Lynch's supporters have protested outside the courthouse throughout the trial. They praise the defendant for shining a spotlight on the alleged abuse.

"I'm Mr Lynch feels, I won't say vindicated, but good about the fact that this case has gotten so much publicity that it's really drawn a big red circle around molestation that happened before and with this priest in particular and what went on within the Catholic Church," analyst Michael Cardoza tells KRON 4's Catherine Heenan.  "So at least on one level I think Mr. Lynch is satisfied but to think that he could face four years in state prison, keep in mind that the injuries the priest suffered in this, he was punched twice and he received some stiches in his forehead because of the assault.  To think he's facing four years in state prison, to me that's shocking."

Another legal analyst says that sympathy for Lynch may not lead to jury nullification.

"The jury may come back and feel very sympathetic to Mr. Lynch," legal analyst Steve Clark said.  "The still may deliver a guilty verdict even if they want to hug him at the end of the trial."

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for the latest on the jury's deliberations and a possible verdict in the case.

(Copyright 2012, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
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