Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty Friday of one count of child endangerment on Friday becoming the first time U.S. church leader to be convicted of such a charge,CNN said
Prosecutors say Lynn helped the Philadelphia archdiocese cover up abuse complaints as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.He was convicted of endangering a boy who was sexually assaulted by a priest in 1999.
Calling the verdict “historic,” Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams said the decision sends a message about the potential consequences of not reporting sexual abuse.
He was found not guilty on a second count of endangerment and on a charge of conspiring to protect a priest accused of abuse.
The jury was unable to bring a verdict against Lynn’s co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was charged with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old altar boy and endangering the welfare of a child.
William Lynn’s lawyers want the 61-year-old priest released on house arrest until his Aug. 13 sentencing.
He is to be sentenced August 13 and could face up to seven years in prison for his conviction on a third-degree felony.