In 1998, William Lynch and his brother charged Father Jerold Lindner with sexually abusing them back in 1975. The case never went to trial. Instead the Jesuits of California Province settled with the brothers and paid them $625,000. The publicity did, however, cause other alleged victims to step forward with similar charges of abuse, including some members of Lindner’s own family. Lindner eventually retired. He now lives in the Sacred Heart Retirement Home in Los Gatos, where he cares for convalescent priests.
But the pain never went away for some of Lindner’s victims. On Friday, Lynch, now 43, walked into the nursing home, found Lindner, and confronted him. “Do you know who I am?” he demanded of the priest, in front of a group of people. Lindner said that he did not. According to eyewitnesses, Lynch then beat up the priest and left. He turned himself into the police shortly afterwards.
No information has been released as to what sparked the violence, but Lynch’s attorney Pat Harris says that he plans on pleading not guilty. Lynch has since been released on bail, but just as in 1998, other alleged victims of Father Lindner have stepped forward in his defense. One of them, Debbie Lukas, said, “There are many times that I’ve contemplated doing all kinds of things to Father Jerry, I just don’t want to lose my freedom over it, but I don’t think it’s right that he’s free.”
Read More at ABC 7.