Ruling in Lynn Case Could be Bad for Penn State Defendants
This week’s reinstatement of Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction on child endangerment charges will have repercussions in the cases of three former Penn State officials facing similar charges in the Jerry Sandusky case, PennLive reports.
Lynn had argued that he could not be charged under Pennsylvania statute since he never cared directly for children, but instead supervised those who did. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Senior Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley were expected to mount a similar defense.
Attorney General Linda Kelly, using the Lynn case as precedent, authorized child endangerment counts against the “Penn State Three” on the theory that their failure to take more aggressive steps to separate Sandusky from Penn State and its athletic programs after at least two allegations about the longtime Joe Paterno assistant were brought to their attention left other boys at risk.
Many legal observers felt if the Lynn reversal had stood, it was likely the defendants in the Penn State case would be able to get their child endangerment charges dismissed.
But with Lynn’s conviction reinstated, “it certainly seems more likely than not that someday – not soon, perhaps, but someday – we will have… a trial on these charges,” said University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff.
“Frankly, after the Lynn decision, there is no reason nor incentive at this point in time for the Attorney General’s office to back down.”
The trio is currently trying to get charges dismissed by the Superior Court.