Prosecutors Say Philadelphia Monsignor Lied To Police During 2001 Sex Abuse Probe

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The prosecution in the Philadelphia clergy sex abuse case presented evidence today they say shows that one of the defendants, Msgr. William Lynn, lied to police during their investigation of alleged abuse by another priest.

The police interview in 2001 was related to an allegation of abuse two decades earlier by Father Nicolas Cudemo.

Police officer Denise Holmes testified today that she interviewed Msgr. Lynn about the allegations against Father Cudemo.  During the interview, she says, Lynn told her of allegations of abuse against by Cudemo by members of the priest’s own family.

But when she asked about any other complaints, she recorded this response:  “Not that I am aware of.”

But the prosecution alleges there were numerous allegations of abuse against Cudemo in the church archives at that time, and Lynn knew it.

In his own note to the secret archive file, Lynn said he was “open and honest” in the interview.

Cudemo was not charged, but the church later found the allegations against him “credible” and he was defrocked in 2005.

Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing predatory priests to remain in ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  A onetime co-defendant, defrocked priest Edward Avery, has pleaded guilty to molesting a boy.  Another co-defendant, Father James Brennan, is accused of child sex abuse.

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