Monsignor sentenced today in Philadelphia for handling of sex abuse claims

Monsignor sentenced today in Philadelphia for handling of sex abuse claims

POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 7:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 7:04pm

The first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sex abuse claims in the Catholic Church was sentenced today.

Monsignor William Lynn, 61, the former Secretary for Clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was sentenced 3-6 years in prison for his handling of sexual abuse claims against priests he supervised.

Monsignor Lynn handled priest assignments and child sexual assault complaints from 1992 to 2004.

A jury convicted Lynn last month for child endangerment for his oversight of now defrocked priest, Edward Avery.

In 1992, a doctor told Lynn's office that Avery had abused him years earlier. Lynn sent Avery for treatment to a church run facility. Avery was diagnosed him with an alcohol problem, not a sexual disorder.

Avery was returned to the church then to live at the Northeast Philadelphia Parish where he assaulted an altar boy in 1999.

Avery is serving 2.5-5 years in prison after pleading guilty to that charge.

Lynn's defense team says they will appeal the conviction.

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