Will Lynch Not Guilty in Priest Beating Trial

By Andrew Lu on July 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Two wrongs don't make a right, at least not always. Will Lynch was found not guilty in the priest beating trial where he was accused of attacking 67-year-old retired priest Rev. Jerold Lindner.

Lynch did not deny attacking the Catholic priest. However, the jury let him off anyway, perhaps due to Lynch's special motivation for the attack.

Over 30 years ago, Will Lynch says that the Catholic priest raped him and his brother when they were both just children, reports NBC. Linder was never officially tied to the rape though the church did pay Lynch and his brother $187,000 to settle a civil case without admitting wrongdoing.

Obviously not feeling vindicated, Lynch decided to take matters into his own hands in 2010. He showed up at the Northern California retirement home of Lindner and punched him repeatedly in the face and body, reports NBC. Unlike Lindner and his alleged acts of child rape, Lynch showed some mercy by requesting that Lindner remove his glasses before the beating.

Lynch faced felony assault charges for the priest beating and could have been sentenced to four years in jail if convicted. Finding Lynch not guilty in the priest beating trial, the jury may have exercised its powers of "nullification," finding Will Lynch not guilty despite knowing that he committed the crimes. With nullification, the jury can acquit defendants they believe to be technically guilty but don't deserve punishment. At this point we don't know what specifically led to the jury's verdict.

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