Judge Sarmina denies the defense request to allow Msgr William Lynn to await sentencing while under house arrest. Defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom:
If he were any other defendant he’d be out on bail. I don’t think he should be treated any differently. I think he’s entitled to (house arrest).
Mr Bergstrom is perhaps correct for a non-cleric. Other accused priests have fled as far away as they could. Ways and means of going on the lam and living more comfortably than under overpasses are somewhat greater than for the average lay person. We all know Cardinal Law hightailed it to Rome after his resignation. Has he ever returned to the US? For vacation? To visit family and friends?
Defense attorney Jeff Lindy:
((T)he monsignor was also left feeling like the fall guy.) He’s upset because he’s seems to have the weight of the church on his shoulders.
The Church did pay for his legal defense. But indeed, he very much seems like the fall guy. If his testimony and that of others on Cardinal Bevilacqua had held up in a jury’s mind, then it would have been the deceased archbishop going to prison for a term a bit longer than three-and-a-half to seven years. Msgr Lynn is one man convicted for the endangerment of one child. There were thousands of children abused. Is the hierarchy prepared to send some of its own to prison for the equivalent of thousands of years?
I was struck that one of Msgr Lynn’s attorneys offered to serve sentence in his place were he to escape house arrest. I wonder how many bishops would put themselves in the same position.