Trial Begins for Man Who Beat Priest He Says Molested Him
When the jury in Department 34 of Santa Clara County Superior Court finally sits down to deliberate, the main question facing the nine men and three women sounds simple: Just who is the victim here?
William Lynch, 45, is accused of tracking down Father Jerold Lindner on May 10, 2010, and assaulting him at his Jesuit retirement home. Witnesses testified during the preliminary hearing that Lynch had punched and kicked the elderly priest, yelling: “You ruined my life. Turn yourself in. You molested me.”
Lynch and his younger brother sued the Society of Jesus, Lindner’s order, 15 years ago, alleging that the priest had raped them and forced them to have sex with each other when Lynch was 7 and his brother 4. The case was settled for $625,000, and Lindner was removed from Loyola High School in Los Angeles, where he had been teaching. The church never informed law enforcement about the allegations.
More than a dozen men and women have accused Lindner of molesting them through the years — including his sister, nieces and nephew. The Catholic Church has settled three cases brought against him, according to a Jesuit spokesman. But the 67-year-old has never faced charges because the statute of limitations for the alleged abuse had run out.