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Man who beat priest won't face prosecution again

William Lynch, who said Father Jerold Lindner raped him and his brother when they were small boys, was acquitted in the attack on all but one charge, on which the jury hung.

July 12, 2012|By Maria L. LaGanga, Los Angeles Times

SAN FRANCISCO — The Santa Clara County district attorney said Wednesday that he would not refile a misdemeanor assault charge against William Lynch, the San Francisco man acquitted of three other charges stemming from a 2010 attack on the priest he said had molested him.

"We have heard the jury," Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen said in a statement. "We believe it is unlikely that a new jury would render a substantially different decision."

Lynch was acquitted of felony assault and felony elder abuse on July 5, despite admitting that he had attacked Father Jerold Lindner. Lynch testified that Lindner raped him and his younger brother when they were 7 and 4 and forced them to perform oral copulation on each other while Lindner watched.

The jury also found Lynch not guilty of misdemeanor elder abuse in the attack, which took place at the Jesuit retirement home where Lindner lives.

But the panel split 8 to 4 in favor of convicting Lynch on a charge of misdemeanor assault. Superior Court Judge David Cena declared a mistrial on that count. The district attorney's office is scheduled to make its decision official during a July 20 hearing.

"We have heard Mr. Lynch," Rosen added. "His story of abuse is powerful. We hope it lends strength to our ongoing efforts to ease the statutes of limitations on child molestation so we can bring more child molesters to justice."

Lynch "was very happy that they have chosen not to pursue any actions against him," said Paul Mones, one of his attorneys.

"I think the D.A. pretty much said what we were thinking and what everybody else was thinking," Mones said. "We're glad they arrived at that decision. The jury did speak."

maria.laganga@latimes.com

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