The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it will not re-file a misdemeanor assault charge against William Lynch. Last week a jury acquitted Lynch of felony assault and hung on a misdemeanor charge. Lynch attacked Father Jerold Lindner in 2010, decades after the priest molested Lynch as a child.
SJI columnist Christopher Schumb wrote two thorough breakdowns of the trial before and after the verdict. The DA’s office says it is “evaluating the obstacles to filing a perjury charge against Lindner,” who testified at the trial that he never molested Lynch.
Below is the DA’s press release and the reason why it declined to retry Lynch:
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday, July 11, 2012, that it will not re-file a misdemeanor assault charge against William Lynch.
Deputy District Attorney Vicki Gemetti is scheduled to make the decision official before the Honorable David Cena at 9:00 a.m. Friday, July 20, 2012, in Department 34 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
The District Attorney had the option to re-file the misdemeanor. A jury last week split 8-4 in favor of convicting Lynch of the charge for his admitted May 10, 2010 assault on Jerold Lindner, the elderly priest he accused of molesting him nearly four decades ago. The jury acquitted Lynch of two felony charges.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said of his decision: “We have heard the jury. We believe it is unlikely that a new jury would render a substantially different decision.”
“We have heard Mr. Lynch,’’ Rosen added. “His story of abuse is powerful. We hope it lends strength to our ongoing efforts to ease the statutes of limitations on child molestation so we can bring more child molesters to justice. As public safety servants sworn to uphold justice, we worked to hold Mr. Lynch responsible for his violent criminal actions. While we were unable to do this, Mr. Lynch seems to have taken responsibility himself.”
After his acquittal, Lynch told the media: ““I was wrong for doing what I did—in doing that I perpetuated the cycle of violence.” And “I encourage people not to do what I did, the way I did it.”
District Attorney Rosen said, “We agree.”
The DA’s Office is currently evaluating the obstacles to filing a perjury charge against Lindner.