Remaining Charge Dropped In South Bay Priest Assault Case

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Santa Clara County prosecutors have decided not to re-file charges against a man acquitted of beating a priest who allegedly molested him more than 30 years ago.

A nine-man, three-woman jury last week acquitted William Lynch of the most serious felony charges in connection to a 2010 attack on the Rev. Jerold Lindner at a Los Gatos home for retired priests.

The jury deadlocked 8-4 on a misdemeanor simple assault charge and the judge declared a mistrial on that count.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Lynch said Lindner sexually abused him and his brother in 1975, during a camping trip.

The District Attorney’s office then had a week to decide whether or not they wanted to re-file charges.

Former Santa Clara County Prosecutor and legal analyst Steven Clark said he was not surprised by the decision.

“This case was not going to get better for the DA’s office; it was only going to get worse. The main witness was not going to cooperate. I think the DA recognized that the jury spoke and they respected that decision,” he said.

Clark added that when Lynch apologized and admitted he was wrong for the assault that it made Wednesday’s decision a lot easier for the DA.

The District Attorney is also considering whether to file perjury charges against Lindner after he testified that he had not molested Lynch or his brother.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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