PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While the re-trial of Monsignor William Lynn in the church sex-abuse scandal may be a year away, lawyers were back in court for a hearing on whether his defense lawyer violated the judge’s gag order.
After a routine hearing recently, the Philadelphia Inquirer incorrectly described the charge Msgr. Lynn faces.
The caption below his photo read he is “accused of sexual misconduct.” He is not.
The 66-year old Lynn is charged with one count of child endangerment involving his supervisory role over priests accused of sexual misconduct.
Even though Judge Gwendolyn Bright imposed a gag order barring the lawyers and parties from publicly discussing the case, when defense lawyer Thomas Bergstrom opened his Inquirer the following morning, he admits to “losing his temper.”
He sent off a flurry of emails to longtime Inquirer reporter Joe Slobodzian, who had absolutely nothing to do with the error. His story was correct. The people who wrote the caption got it wrong.
Judge Bright did not fault Bergstrom for getting the paper to fix the mistake, but she did lay into him for cc’ing – copying his remarks – to another reporter who writes an on-line blog.
Bergstrom apologized to the judge, saying he has “fought for the Monsignor for five years,” and they’re still at it.
Judge Bright, after a firm look and scold told Bergstrom, “at this point, this will be the end of it.”
Lynn was the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.
He served nearly three years of a three-to-six-year prison term before he was released last summer. His conviction has twice been overturned.