The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has decided not to retry William Lynch on a misdemeanor assault charge for beating the Rev. Jerold Lindner, who he claims molested him several decades ago.
However, District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Wednesday afternoon that his office is looking into whether it can file a perjury charge against Lindner himself.
Last Thursday, a jury acquitted Lynch of felony elder abuse and assault charges stemming from the May 2010 beating of 65-year-old Lindner at a Los Gatos retirement home, but deadlocked 8-4 on a misdemeanor assault charge, with the majority of jurors favoring conviction.
"We have heard the jury," Rosen said in a statement Wednesday. "We believe it is unlikely that a new jury would render a substantially different decision."
The issue of perjury came up during the trial after Lindner testified in that he did not molest Lynch. Lynch, now 44, alleges that the Jesuit priest raped and forced him to perform sexual acts with his brother on a camping trip in the 1970s.
In 1988, Lynch and his brother settled a civil suit against Lindner and the Catholic Church for more than $600,000.
Partway through his testimony, Lindner declined to testify further, and the comments he had made up to that point were struck from the record.
Rosen's office said it is "evaluating the obstacles to filing perjury charges against Lindner."
"We have heard Mr. Lynch," Rosen said, "His story of abuse is powerful. We hope it lends strength to our ongoing efforts to ease the statute of limitations on child molestation so we can bring more child molesters to justice."
Rosen noted that Lynch seems to have taken responsibility for his actions.
Deputy District Attorney Vicki Gemetti is scheduled to appear in Judge David Cena's courtroom at 9 a.m. on July 20 to make official the decision not to retry Lynch.
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