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Lawyers For Convicted Priest Seek House Arrest

By Jim Melwert and Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Lawyers for Philadelphia Monsignor William Lynn, the first Roman Catholic cleric in the United States to be convicted of child endangerment for his role in the clergy abuse scandal, will be in court tomorrow morning seeking to free him from prison.

Lynn's bail was revoked and he was sent to prison after the guilty verdict on Friday, to await sentencing in mid-August.

But tomorrow, his lawyers will argue he should be placed on house arrest. Defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom says Judge Teresa Sarmina had indicated she would entertain the motion.

"I think Rule 521 clearly permits her to consider other options rather than a revocation of bail, and frankly I think she's going to consider that," Bergstrom said. "She said she would, and we're going to take her up on it."

"You guys are going to have to look a long, long time to find a 61-year-old defendant convicted of a third-degree felony with no prior record with community ties who was remanded," defense lawyer Jeffrey Lindy said on Friday.

Today, Lindy repeated that his client is being treated unfairly.

"It's really, really simple," he told KYW Newsradio.  "This man has been detained for one reason only: because his name is Monsignor Lynn and he is in a celebrated case. Any other defendant, any other defendant similarly situated, third-degree felony conviction, he is not detained pending sentencing.  Any other defendant."

Lynn,61, was convicted on child endangerment but cleared of conspiracy and another count of endangerment.  He faces up to seven years in prison. His lawyers say they expect to appeal the conviction.

See related story.

The jury was deadlocked on charges against Lynn's co-defendant, Father James Brennan. The district attorney's office will decide whether to refile charges.

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