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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Set To Hear Case Of Monsignor Lynn

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in Harrisburg from the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office as it seeks the re-instatement of the child-endangerment conviction of Monsignor William Lynn.

Monsignor Lynn, who served as secretary of the clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was the first high-ranking Roman Catholic church official to be found guilty in a clergy sex abuse case.

That was in July 2012 in Common Pleas Court. He was sentenced to three-to-six years in prison. But his lawyers argued the conviction didn't meet the standards in the original state child endangerment law.

In December 2013, a three-judge panel at the Superior Court agreed and the cleric was released on bail and remains under house arrest pending the outcome of the DA's appeal.

Monsignor Lynn's attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, says the court should concur with the Superior Court.

"He never knew, never saw, never met, and frankly never knew that the offense against the child committed by another priest even occurred," said Hugh Burns, chief of the DA's appeals unit. "We're going to argue that the Superior Court panel misapplied the law and that when the evidence is reviewed under the proper legal standard it proved the offense of endangering the welfare of children."

Both sides say it may be months before a ruling is issued.

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