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Archdiocese of Philadelphia hit with eight new lawsuits over alleged cover-up of sexual abuse

Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center June 22, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo

Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center June 22, 2012, in Philadelphia.
Monsignor William Lynn walks to the Criminal Justice Center June 22, 2012, in Philadelphia. Lynn was convicted of felony child endangerment in July 2012.
AP Photo
(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - Nine plaintiffs filed eight new civil lawsuits Tuesday alleging the Archdiocese of Philadelphia covered up child sex assault allegations made against seven Roman Catholic priests.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said their clients decided to come forward when former archdiocesan official Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty of child endangerment and received a three- to six-year prison sentence. The 61-year-old is the first U.S. church official convicted of endangering children by keeping predatory priests in ministry. He served as secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1992 to 2004.

According to CBS Philly, Lynn is seeking bail while he appeals his conviction.

Named in the latest lawsuits are Lynn, Archbishop Charles Chaput, his predecessor, Cardinal Justin Rigali, and the priests accused by the plaintiffs of sexual abuse.

The lawsuits were announced as lawyers for Lynn said in court documents that their client's one-time co-defendant lied when he pleaded guilty to abusing an altar boy, CBS Philly reports.

Lynn's attorneys said in a motion filed Monday that former priest Edward Avery gave prosecutors a statement and took a polygraph test in which he denied even knowing the boy. The motion claims Avery didn't actually abuse the boy but opted to plead guilty in order to receive a lesser jail term.

Prosecutors told The Philadelphia Inquirer their response to Lynn's motion would come in court.

Complete coverage of the Philadelphia Archdiocese sex abuse cover-up case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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