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Another Mistrial Motion Denied In South Bay Priest Beating Trial

SAN JOSE (KCBS)— A Santa Clara County judge denied another defense motion for a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a Bay Area man accused of attacking a priest who he alleges molested him years earlier.

Lynch, 44, is accused of assault and elder abuse for allegedly beating 67-year-old Rev. Jerold Lindner on May 10, 2010, at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos. Lynch claims that Lindner molested him and his brother during a camping trip in the 1970s.

Before testimony resumed Tuesday morning, Judge David Cena denied the latest motion by the defense to have a mistrial declared.

Defense attorney Pat Harris had argued that Cena's decision on Monday to strike Lindner's testimony from the record is undermining the defense's case, in part because he won't be able to cross-examine Lindner.

Lindner testified last week that Lynch had attacked him at the retirement home, but denied sexually abusing Lynch or his brother.

However, because prosecutor Vicki Gemetti told jurors in her opening statement that Lindner would likely lie to them on the witness stand by denying that the molestation occurred, the defense sought a mistrial on the grounds that Lynch had perjud by denying that the molestation occurred, the defense sought a mistrial on the grounds that Lynch had perjured himself and that the prosecutor had engaged in misconduct.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

The motions were denied, and Lindner on Monday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify further.

The prosecution then called cellphone technology expert Jim Cook to the stand. Cook told jurors that his analysis of cellphone records shows that Lynch's phone was used in Los Gatos on the afternoon of the attack. He said the phone was used near Lynch's San Francisco home that morning and evening.

While cross-examining Cook, Harris implied that Cook's paid testimony and analysis was an unnecessary expense, since Lynch has already admitted to being in Los Gatos the day of the attack. Cook's testimony and analysis cost the district attorney's office $6,500.

The other witness to testify Tuesday morning, Rural Metro emergency medical technician Jeremy Broce, told the jury that he had had been called in to treat Lindner about two hours after the alleged attack.

He said that although Lindner had a bandage on his head, "he seemed pretty with it."

Lindner was taken to a hospital that day, but only after the sheriff's office requested that he be checked out further, Broce said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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