Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen announced Wednesday his office will not charge former priest Jerold Lindner with perjury.
That is not the news Rev. Lindner's victims, who claim he sexually abused them when they were children, wanted to hear.
One of the alleged victims, Will Lynch, went to trial for assaulting the former priest earlier this summer. He was acquitted even though he admitted to the attack.
It was during that trial that Lynch and others said Rev. Lindner committed perjury when he denied the molestation charges on the witness stand.
Lynch has spent weeks pressuring the DA to charge the former priest for lying when he said that.
Rosen said although he believes Rev. Lindner did lie, the charge of perjury is not just about lying under oath.
"It is a highly technical criminal offense that requires several elements to be proved. Citizens entrust us to prepare criminal complaints only for factually sound and legal reasons. We cannot do that in this matter," Rosen said.
According to the DA, the elements of the crime of perjury are:
- A person took an oath to testify truthfully before a competent tribunal;
- When the person testified, he willfully stated that the information was true even though he knew it was false;
- The information was material; (Case law holds that testimony is material if the testimony would probably have influenced the outcome of the proceedings.)
- The person knew he was making a statement under oath.
Rosen noted that the alleged molestations themselves were committed too long ago to prosecute. Rosen said he hopes the case of Lindner vs Lynch helps his "ongoing effort to end the statute of limitations on child molestation so we can bring more molesters to justice."