A man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest is facing trial this week on charges that he beat the same priest, now very elderly, in front of shocked witnesses at a retirement home, according to a recent report from MSNBC.com.
William Lynch, now 44, is facing felony charges of assault and abuse of the elderly after allegedly beating Rev. Jerold Lindner in 2010 while the priest was living in a retirement home for former clergy.
The beating took place more than 35 years after Lindner allegedly sexually abused Lynch and his brother during a camping trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains in northern California.
Since he was arrested for the beating, Lynch has refused to entertain a plea deal with the prosecution and is insisting that he wants to face his alleged former abuser in court. At trial, Lynch is expected to share disturbing testimony about Lindner’s actions several years ago.
This is a big gamble for Lynch, who reportedly faces four years in prison if he is convicted on the charges. Still, Lynch believes it is worth the risk to expose the man he alleges committed horrible acts decades ago.
Sources say that William Lynch and his brother, who were 7 and 4 at the time of the abuse, claim in a civil lawsuit that Lindner raped them in the woods and then forced the boys to perform oral sex on each other while he watched.
And these gruesome allegations aren’t limited to just the Lynches. Roughly a dozen other people, including Lindner’s own relatives, have also accused Lindner of sexual abuse, but the priest has never had to hire a criminal defense attorney because the incidents were all too old to prosecute.
Nevertheless, the Lynch trial is seen by both Lynch and other alleged victims as an opportunity to reveal the truth about Lindner, despite the fact that he may be beyond the point of criminal liability.
Sources indicate that several other alleged victims are planning to attend Lynch’s trial. And if Lindner testifies, sources say that Lynch’s attorney will be allowed to ask the priest about his client’s allegations during the cross-examination.
And in a twist that could provide high court drama, if Lindner denies the allegations, then Lynch’s attorney will be able to call up other witness who can testify against Lindner.
And Lynch isn’t daunted by the potential prison sentence he faces. In his words, “I’m prepared to take responsibility for anything I’ve been involved in. I’m willing to do it. I think it’s a small sacrifice to get Father Jerry into court.”