Judge Gwendolyn Bright has denied a motion to dismiss the case against Msgr. William Lynn. A retrial is expected in May.
Lynn, twice convicted of child endangerment, had both convictions overturned. The Philadelphia D.A. pressing the case, Seth Williams, was arrested the same week as Judge Bright’s ruling, charged with bribery, extortion, and fraud. Yet he remains in office.
Williams’ war on Msgr. Lynn is the most unethical assault ever conducted by a D.A. against a high-ranking member of the Catholic clergy in American history. Worse, the corruption extends beyond Williams.
In 2001, two grand juries were convened “to investigate the sexual abuse of minors by individuals associated with religious organizations and denominations.” We wrote to D.A. Lynne Abraham asking which religious organizations and denominations she had pursued, other than the Catholic Church. She never answered. That’s because she gave all other religions a pass.
In 2005, Abraham gave up: not a single priest was prosecuted. But in 2010, new D.A. Williams—unable to nail a bishop—set his sights on Msgr. Lynn, a top archdiocesan aide.
Judge Bright added to this classic case of jurisprudential corruption. She said that while prosecutors were wrong not to tell Lynn’s lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, about a detective’s doubt concerning the credibility of one of their key witnesses, it was “not intentional prosecutorial misconduct.”
Really? Detective Joseph Walsh, at the behest of the D.A.’s office, investigated the incredulous claims made by Danny Gallagher [a.k.a. “Billy Doe”], the prosecution’s star witness. According to journalist Ralph Cipriano, Walsh found that “every witness statement he took, including the ones from Gallagher’s own family members, contradicted Danny Gallagher’s wild and crazy stories.”
When Walsh told A.D.A. Mariana Sorenson about Gallagher’s lies, she accused him of “killing my case.”
So, no, Judge Bright, there was nothing unintentional about what happened.