A man allegedly molested by a priest was arrested in California on Friday for beating up the clergyman 35 years later.William Lynch, 43, grinned in his mugshot as he was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for the May 10 attack that sent the Rev. Jerold Lindner to the hospital with bruises and lacerations. Lynch harbored a fantasy for years of confronting the priest, who also allegedly molested Lynch’s little brother and up to a dozen others. ‘They’re saying it was pretty close to beating him to death,’ defense attorney Pat Harris told The Associated Press. ‘They’re essentially saying that he waited all these years and then took out his revenge. It’s sort of the ultimate revenge story.’
Lynch and his younger brother settled with the Jesuits of the California Province, a Roman Catholic religious order, for $625,000 (£390,000) in 1998 after alleging that Lindner abused them in 1975 during weekend camping trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The boys, who were seven and five at the time, were raped in the woods and forced to have oral sex with each other while Lindner watched, Harris said. Lindner has been accused of abuse by nearly a dozen people, including his own sister and nieces and nephews.
Lynch was to be released on $25,000 bail, Harris said. The attorney negotiated his client’s surrender and said Lynch will plead not guilty at his arraignment sometime next month. Authorities say Lynch lured the clergyman to the lobby of a Jesuit retirement home and beat him in front of shocked witnesses. Sgt. Rick Sung, Santa Clara County sheriff’s spokesman, said Lynch attacked the 65-year-old priest after he failed to recognize him at the Jesuits’ Sacred Heart retirement home in Los Gatos. The attack occurred in a small room adjoining the lobby. Police connected Lynch to the attack using phone records, Sung said. A half hour before the beating, a caller identifying himself as ‘Eric’ called the rest home and said someone would arrive shortly to inform Lindner of a family member’s death.Lindner was able to drive himself to the hospital. He did not return a call left on his answering machine Friday.
He has previously denied abusing the Lynch boys and has not been criminally charged. The abuse falls outside the statute of limitations. Lindner was removed from ministry and placed at the Los Gatos retirement home in 2001. He was named in two additional lawsuits for abuse between 1973 and 1985, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The cases were included in the record-breaking $660 million settlement struck between the church and more than 550 plaintiffs in 2007.
Lynch declined an interview Friday but in a 2002 Los Angeles Times article, he said he’d had nightmares for years, battled depression and alcoholism and had attempted suicide twice because of the priest’s abuse. ‘Many times I thought of driving down to LA and confronting Father Jerry. I wanted to exorcise all of the rage and anger and bitterness he put into me,’ Lynch told the newspaper. ‘You can’t put into words what this guy did to me. He stole my innocence and destroyed my life.’
The Associated Press does not identify victims of sex crimes as a matter of policy, but Lynch previously came forward to tell his story. Lindner was ordained in 1976 and taught at various Catholic high schools during his career, including 16 years as chairman of the English department at Loyola High School, a prestigious Catholic prep school in Los Angeles. There, he launched nearly two dozen after-school programs for students, including a chess club and renaissance club, and became master of a Boy Scout troop that included mostly lower-income Puerto Rican boys, his older brother, Larry Lindner, told The Associated Press. Most of Lindner’s family severed contact with him years ago after discovering he had molested his nieces and nephews when they were as young as 3. They were unaware of the attack, said his sister, Kathy McEntire.
Damn, we can just imagine how awful that experience was…shiiiit we would’ve been smiling in the mugshot too. FAWK those nasty a$$ pedophile clergymen, this ish is getting out of hand.
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