PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Roman Catholic church official convicted of child endangerment might learn Tuesday if he'll get out of jail to await sentencing.
Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty of child endangerment Friday, making him the first U.S. church official convicted for covering up abuse claims.
A judge revoked his bail, but defense lawyers want the 61-year-old priest released on house arrest until his Aug. 13 sentencing. They suggest he could stay with a family friend in northeast Philadelphia, because his relatives don't live in the city, as required for house arrest.
A hearing is set for Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Lynn helped the Philadelphia archdiocese cover up abuse complaints as secretary for clergy, thereby endangering children by keeping predators in ministry. Lynn served in that role from 1992 to 2004, mostly under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.
He was convicted of endangering a boy who was sexually assaulted by a priest in 1999, seven years after Lynn reviewed an earlier complaint against the now-defrocked priest.
The jury, after 13 days of deliberation, acquitted Lynn of endangering a second boy and of conspiracy. He faces 3 1/2 to seven years in prison.
Defense lawyers, though, plan to appeal the conviction. They objected at trial to testimony about 20 priests who were accused of molesting children but were never charged with crimes because the statute of limitations had run.
Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina allowed the evidence to show Lynn's alleged pattern of handling the abuse claims.
Lynn was taken to jail from the courtroom Friday afternoon after Sarmina denied his motion to remain free until sentencing. But Sarmina said she would entertain a motion for house arrest.
Lynn is not expected to be present for Tuesday's bail hearing. Even if the motion is granted, it can take about two weeks for inmates to be released on house arrest.
Copyright 2012 the Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.