from the Order March 28, 2017 In the Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia County Criminal Division at No(s):
BEFORE: PANELLA, J., LAZARUS, J., and STRASSBURGER,
appeal arises from the grant of a new criminal trial by a
panel of this Court. Monsignor William J. Lynn appeals from
the order denying his motion to dismiss the charges and bar
retrial on double jeopardy grounds.Lynn argues after-discovered
evidence of prosecutorial misconduct implicates the Double
Jeopardy Clause in Article 1, § 10 of the Pennsylvania
Constitution and prohibits the Commonwealth from retrying
him. Because we conclude Lynn has failed to demonstrate any
of the alleged acts of misconduct were intended to deprive
him of a fair trial, we affirm.
Supreme Court has provided a detailed description of the
facts underlying this case in its prior opinion,
Commonwealth v. Lynn, 114 A.3d 796, 798-808 (Pa.
2015) ("Lynn II"), we need not recite the
entirety of this case's history. See also
Commonwealth v. Lynn, 83 A.3d 434, 437-445 (Pa. Super.
2013) ("Lynn I"), rev'd Lynn
II (providing summary of facts and procedural history).
from 1992 until 2004, Lynn served as Secretary for Clergy for
the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As part of his duties as
secretary, Lynn was responsible for receiving and
investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests within
the Archdiocese, as well as suggesting placements for, and
supervising, priests previously accused of abuse.
early 2011, following a grand jury investigation into claims
of sexual abuse by priests and concealment of this abuse by
the Archdiocese, Lynn was arrested and charged with two
counts of endangering the welfare of children
("EWOC"), 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4304, and two counts
of conspiracy to commit EWOC, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 903.
Lynn's charges arose from claims that he, in his capacity
as secretary, negligently supervised two priests, Reverend
Edward V. Avery and Reverend James Brennan. Due to previous
complaints, Lynn knew that both Avery and Brennan had been
accused of sexually abusing juvenile parishioners. Despite
this knowledge, in 1993, Lynn recommended that Avery live in
the rectory at nearby St. Jerome's Church-a church with a
grade school attached. Several years after Avery was placed
at St. Jerome's rectory, D.G., a student at St.
Jerome's grade school, claimed he had been sexually
abused by Avery.
proceeded to trial on March 26, 2012, based in part upon
D.G.'s allegations. As part of the Commonwealth's case
in chief, D.G. testified he first met Avery while
participating in the bell crew or choir as a fifth grade
student at St. Jerome's grade school. Shortly thereafter,
D.G. recounted that Avery took the opportunity to molest him
on two separate occasions following early morning mass at St.
Jerome's Church. D.G. claimed he was serving as an altar
boy for the early morning mass, and was left alone with Avery
after the conclusion of mass. Following this experience, D.G.
testified he became withdrawn and began using drugs. This
eventually culminated in D.G.'s development of a heroin
addiction at the age of seventeen.
addition to D.G.'s testimony, the Commonwealth utilized
Detective Joseph Walsh to introduce "other-acts"
evidence of the Archdiocese's handling of abuse
allegations raised against twenty-one priests other than
Avery and Brennan. After two months of testimony, the jury
convicted Lynn of one count of EWOC, relating to his
supervision of Avery. On July 24, 2012, the trial court
sentenced Lynn to a term of three to six years'
a series of appeals, a panel of this Court vacated the
judgment of sentence and granted Lynn a new trial upon
concluding the trial court abused its discretion by admitting
a "high volume of unfairly prejudicial other-acts
evidence." Lynn III, No. 2171 EDA 2012, at 1,
2015 WL 9320082, at *1. However, before the Commonwealth
could retry Lynn, he filed a motion to dismiss his charges.
motion, Lynn claimed to have discovered the Commonwealth had
asked Detective Walsh to investigate the veracity of
D.G.'s grand jury testimony prior to Lynn's first
jury trial. Lynn alleged the Commonwealth had committed
prosecutorial misconduct by failing to inform him of this
investigation, as well as the allegedly damning responses of
D.G. and the Assistant District Attorney ("ADA") in
charge of the case, Mariana Sorensen, when confronted with
inconsistences in D.G.'s story. Lynn contends that
permitting the Commonwealth to proceed with a retrial in the
face of their intentional misconduct would violate his double
jeopardy rights under Article 1, § 10 of the
response, the Commonwealth conceded hiring Detective Walsh to
investigate D.G.'s claims, but claimed any
inconsistencies in D.G.'s testimony were provided to Lynn
before trial. Further, the Commonwealth disputed Lynn's
conclusion that D.G. had lied on the witness stand. As such,
the Commonwealth alleged that no prosecutorial misconduct had
occurred, as the Commonwealth did not withhold any
discoverable evidence from Lynn and therefore did not act
with intent to cause prejudice to Lynn.
trial court scheduled a series of hearings on the matter. At
the hearings, Detective Walsh confirmed the Commonwealth
hired him to investigate the accuracy of D.G.'s grand
jury testimony. See N.T., Hearing, 1/13/17 at 8-9.
After conducting interviews with members of D.G.'s family
and staff at St. Jerome's grade school, Detective Walsh
determined that certain details surrounding D.G.'s
account of his abuse were inconsistent with information
gathered through the interviews. See id., at 9-10.
Specifically, Detective Walsh received information that
appeared to counter D.G.'s claims that he served early
morning mass in fifth grade, was a member of the bell crew in
fifth grade, or ever participated in bell choir. See
id., at 29, 31, 33-34, 36, 41, 58. During a trial
preparation session in February 2012, Detective Walsh
confronted D.G. about these inconsistencies, and claimed D.G.
either failed to respond when challenged, or stated he was
high when he made his initial statement to the police.
See id., at 60-64.
Detective Walsh testified he informed ADA Sorensen of these
inconsistencies as he discovered them, but that she always
confirmed her belief in D.G.'s story. See id.,
at 78-79. However, on one occasion in January 2012, before
Detective Walsh's trial preparation session with D.G.,
Detective Walsh's report of inconsistencies was met with
her telling him "you're killing my case."
Id., at 79. Lynn asserts that these inconsistencies
and ADA Sorensen's response were proof that D.G.'s
story of Avery's abuse was untrue, that ADA Sorensen was
aware it was untrue, and as such, the prosecutor's
actions in placing D.G. on the witness stand during trial
constituted prosecutorial misconduct.
conclusion of the hearings, the trial court found that while
the Commonwealth failed to provide Lynn with certain aspects
of Detective Walsh's investigation, there was no evidence
this failure constituted misconduct severe enough to warrant
dismissal of Lynn's charges. See N.T., Hearing,
3/24/17, at 4-5. Instead, the trial court found the proper
remedy in this case would be a new trial. See id.,
at 4. As Lynn had already been granted a new trial, albeit on
different grounds, the trial court found no further relief
was warranted. See id. This appeal followed.
appeal, Lynn maintains the trial court erred in failing to
dismiss his charges on double jeopardy grounds. He rests his
argument on two bases. First, Lynn contends double jeopardy
should attach due to the Commonwealth's intentional
decision to withhold exculpatory information from him prior
to trial. Second, he claims the ...