|Fr. Jerold Linder, S.J.|
Father Jerold Lindner always pitched his tent far from everyone else on religious camping trips in the Santa Cruz Mountains. That way, his accusers later said, no one could hear his young victims whimper. But more than 30 years later, one of those accusers is striking back -- in a rare way chosen by only one of the 16,000 Americans who are known to have been sexually molested by Catholic clerics. Will Lynch, who says he was raped by the man he knew as Father Jerry on a camping trip in the mid-1970s, is accused of beating up the priest -- and he is now using his own assault trial to try the cleric in the court of public opinion. On the eve of his trial in San Jose, an emotional Lynch talked in an exclusive interview on the 15th floor of a San Francisco hotel about why he's willing to put his freedom on the line to protest a legal system that never made Father Jerry pay. Even though the Jesuits have doled out millions of dollars to settle cases brought by Lindner's victims, the priest was never prosecuted because Lynch and others reported the abuse after the brief window of opportunity set by the statute of limitations at the time slammed shut. Lindner has denied the accusations. But a health care administrator who works for the Jesuits testified last year during Lynch's preliminary hearing that Lindner is on a list of molesters living at the Sacred Heart retirement and medical center in Los Gatos.
Read the rest of the article (here) and watch the interview at Mercury News