Legal Updates

Outrageous Bail in Philadelphia Criminal Matter

Judge Teresa Sarmina of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas set bail for Msgr. William Lynn this week.  Lynn was a priest in Philadelphia.  He never committed an act of sex abuse against a child, but supervised priests who did.  He was charged  with Endangering The Welfare of a Child for his failure to prevent sex abuse.  Media coverage of the matter can be viewed here

Judge Sarmina’s 235-page opinion has been criticized as “fundamentally flawed” by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Lynn has since been placed on House Arrest, and released on $250,000 bail.  His case is being reviewed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  A portion of the 10% required to post bail, was posted by the Catholic Church.

The Philadelphia DA has overreacted to the Church’s decision to help Msgr. Lynn post bail.  According to, the DA argued for such a high bail because the 62 year old priest was a “flight risk.”  After he was released, the DA characterized the Church helping Lynn as “disgusting.”  As I have mentioned in previous posts, the purpose of bail is to ensure defendant’s appearance in court.  Bail is not meant to be punitive.  The idea that a 62-year old priest is going to run from the law is completely ridiculous.  The bail is excessively high.

Many residents of Philadelphia remember Msgr. William Lynn as “the person who buried their parents, married them, gave their child their first Communion.”