A Philadelphia judge on Tuesday sentenced Monsignor William Lynn to three to six years in prison for his role in concealing allegations of abuse against an Archdiocesan priest.
After a landmark, and lengthy, trial this past spring, a jury last month convicted Lynn of one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was acquitted of a second child-endangerment charge and one count of conspiracy.
He could have faced up to seven years in prison. Lynn has been in prison since the June 22 conviction.
Defense attorneys said Tuesday they would appeal the sentence.
Prior to the sentencing, handed down by Common Pleas Court Judge Teresa Sarmina, defense attorneys argued in favor of probation, calling the maximum prison term “cruel and unusual.”
Lynn told the court he did his best during his tenure as secretary of clergy — a position he held from 1992-2004, overseeing sex-abuse investigations — but acknowledged he had “failings.”
In addressing Lynn before the sentencing, Sarmina told him he willingly neglected to protect victims.
“You knew full well what was right, Monsignor Lynn, but you chose wrong,” she said.
Lynn’s conviction was linked to his knowledge of abuse allegations against former priest Edward Avery. Avery was on track to be tried alongside Lynn and the Rev. James Brennan but pleaded guilty to several counts of sexual abuse he faced and is serving two-and-a-half to five years in prison.
The jury deadlocked on the attempted rape and child-endangerment charge Brennan faced from allegedly attempting to abuse a teen boy in the 1990s.
District Attorney Seth Williams announced Monday that his office would retry the cleric.
“James Brennan used his position as a priest to prey upon and victimize this young man,” Williams said. “It is extremely important that Brennan be held accountable for his crime, not just for his victim but for all victims of sexual abuse.”
Brennan is scheduled for a status hearing Aug. 14.
The trial is expected to begin next year.