Priest Pleads 5th in William Lynch Trial

The Rev. Jerold Lindner told the judge Monday that he is invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

By Breena Kerr
|  Monday, Jun 25, 2012  |  Updated 4:44 PM PDT
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 Priest Pleads 5th in Lynch Trial

Lindner testified last week in the trial, in which defendant William Lynch, 44, has been charged with felony assault and elder abuse for allegedly attacking Lindner at a Los Gatos retirement home in May 2010.

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A Jesuit priest who was allegedly assaulted in 2010 by a man who claims the priest molested him several decades ago is refusing to testify further in his accused attacker's San Jose trial.

The Rev. Jerold Lindner told Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena Monday morning that, under the advice of his attorney, he is invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and is declining to give additional testimony.

Cena is taking the matter under consideration and has recessed the case until 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Lindner testified last week in the trial, in which defendant William Lynch, 44, has been charged with felony assault and elder abuse for allegedly attacking Lindner at a Los Gatos retirement home in May 2010.

Earlier Monday morning, Cena denied motions by the defense to declare a mistrial based on the prosecutor's unusual claim in her opening statement that Lindner would likely lie on the witness stand by denying having molested Lynch and his brother on a camping trip when Lynch was 7 years old.

The prosecution's case rests on the assertion that Lynch was acting in revenge as a vigilante when he assaulted Lindner, but the argument is complicated by Lindner's claim in testimony last week that no sexual abuse occurred.

Smith, who is acting as a representative for the Lynch family and who says she was on the camping trip where the alleged molestation occurred in the 1970s, said outside of court this morning that Judge Cena's decision not to declare a mistrial is "disappointing but not unexpected."

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