Judge issues stern warning to convicted church official


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A judge in Philadelphia has told a Roman Catholic church official convicted in a sex-abuse scandal that she already has signed an arrest warrant that she would issue if he violates the term of his release.

Monsignor William Lynn's conviction was overturned last week and he was released from prison on Friday after serving 18 months of a three- to six-year prison term for felony child endangerment.

Lynn was the first U.S. church official ever convicted in the handling of abuse complaints. But a state appeals court ruled Dec. 26 that the state's child-endangerment law in the late 1990s did not apply to supervisors like Lynn.

Lynn attorney Thomas Bergstrom says Lynn is restricted to the two floors of a rectory at St. William Parish in northeast Philadelphia. Lynn has to get permission to leave for appointments with his doctor, lawyer or to attend to anything else. There is no school at the parish.

His diocese put up bail money for Lynn, which has drawn criticism.

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