CA- Groups urge prosecutors to charge priest, he perjured himself in recent trial, they say
Two groups that focus on clergy sex crime and cover ups are urging a San Jose prosecutor to file perjury charges against a Catholic priest who allegedly molested more than a dozen children.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) and the National Survivors Advocate Coalition (NSAC) are writing Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff F. Rosen, urging him to pursue criminal charges against Fr. Jerold Lindner, who, both groups believe, lied on the witness stand in a recent criminal trial.
Fr. Lindner was called to testify in the case against William Lynch, a victim of child sex abuse who allegedly went to the facility where Lindner lives and beat the priest in May 2010. Last week, a jury acquitted Lynch on all chargeshttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57467343/william-lynch-acquitted-in-beating-of-priest-he-says-molested-him/.
Although Lindner has never been criminally charged with molesting Lynch, more than a dozen victims have come forward to say that Lindner sexually abused them as children, including Lindner's sister, three nieces and a nephew.
The California Province of Jesuits has settled cases with several of Lindner's victims, including Lynch, and has said publicly that Lindner sexually abused children. The Jesuits also sent Lindner to a church-run facility for child molesting clerics. http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Lindner_Jerold_W_sj.htm
In her opening statement in Lynch's trial, prosecutor Vicki Gemetti said that Fr. Lindner would probably lie on the stand and say that he did not molest Lynch. When Fr. Lindner finally testified, he denied molesting Lynch, and then invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Fr. Lindner's testimony was tossed out by the judge. http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/crime-law/judge-rejects-lynch-defense-team-mistrial-motion/nPdmY/
Both groups believe that prosecuting Fr. Lindner for perjury would send a strong message to anyone who tries to cover-up sex abuse or lie on the witness stand
"You prosecuted Will Lynch, knowing full well that it’s unlikely his alleged crime, if not punished, would be repeated by others," their letter says. "But surely you realize that Fr. Lindner’s alleged crime – perjury – will very likely be repeated by others if Lindner is not punished."
The groups are also outraged by a statement by the District Attorney, saying that Lindner is "beyond the limit of human justice .... but not beyond divine justice."
"We feel it’s inappropriate for you to speculate about possible ‘divine justice’ when you have the power – and, we believe, the duty – to bring justice here and now, by prosecuting Fr. Lindner for perjury," the letter continues.
Both groups believe that charging Lindner will not only deter others from lying to prosecutors about child sex crimes, but encourage other victims to come forward if they believe that criminals will be held accountable to the same laws as everyone else.
The letter, sent by fax and email, is below.
Jeffrey F. Rosen
70 W. Hedding Street, West Wing
San Jose CA 95110
Phone: (408) 299-3099, Fax: (408) 286-5437, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Rosen:
We are members of NSAC, the National Survivors Advocate Coalition and SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our goals are to help victims heal and keep children safe. In fact, our goals and your goals are very much aligned.
The reason we are writing is to implore you to press charges of perjury against Fr. Jerold Lindner, the Jesuit priest who lied on the stand during William Lynch's battery trial, a trial that was prosecuted by your office. Because of Fr. Lindner's false statements, not only was his testimony tossed, but the credibility of your office's case against Lynch was compromised.
Fr. Lindner is a serial child molester and a perjurer. More than a dozen victims have come forward, including Fr. Lindner's own sister, nieces and nephew. Even a small measure of justice is a huge step towards accountability for all of the children who were hurt my Fr. Lindner's crimes and lies.
We are also writing to express our dismay and disgust at your statements to the press where you said, "Unfortunately, (Lindner) is beyond the limits of human justice for crimes committed decades ago. However, he is not beyond divine justice for the crimes he committed in this world."
First, he’s Fr. Jerold Lindner, not Mr. Lindner, as your recent statement indicated.
Second, we feel it’s inappropriate for you to speculate about possible “divine justice” when you have the power – and, we believe, the duty – to bring justice here and now, by prosecuting Fr. Lindner for perjury.
You prosecuted Will Lynch, knowing full well that it’s unlikely his alleged crime, if not punished, would be repeated by others. But surely you realize that Lindner’s alleged crime – perjury– will very likely be repeated by others if Lindner is not punished.
Finally, we submit that your greatest obligation is to protect those who cannot protect themselves: children. What better way to protect kids than to try and
--convict and imprison a credibly accused child molester,
--deter others from lying under oath about child sex crimes, and
--expose wrongdoing by a huge institution that ignores, hides, and enables heinous crimes against children?
To us, trying Fr. Lindner is a chance to get a serial child predator behind bars where he can’t hurt any more kids. But it’s more than that. It’s also a way to protect kids by exposing the long-standing, widely documented recklessness, callousness and deceit by Fr. Lindner’s current and former supervisors and colleagues in the Catholic hierarchy.
Such a prosecution, regardless of its outcome, would educate the public and make it far less likely that parents would trust potentially dangerous current and former Catholic clerics with their kids.
Please do the right and just thing according to your oath of office and the law.
Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street
St. Louis MO 63143
314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Kristine Ward, Chair
National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC)
P.O. Box 41013, Dayton, OH 45441-0013
Outreach Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
6245 Westminster Place
Saint Louis, MO 63130
314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.