Trial Starts For California Man Charged In Priest Assault

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man charged with attacking a Jesuit priest who he says molested him decades ago is going to trial.

Opening statements begin Wednesday for 44-year-old San Francisco resident William Lynch, who faces charges of felony assault and elder abuse for the attack on Jerold Lindner.

Authorities say Lynch beat Lindner in the lobby of the priest’s retirement home in May 2010.

Lynch says he intends to use his own trial to raise awareness about clergy sexual abuse. He faces four years in prison if convicted.

His attorney, Pat Harris, says he doesn’t deny there was an altercation between Lynch and the priest but circumstances are in dispute.

Lynch and his brother reached a $625,000 settlement in 1998 with the Jesuits of the California Province, a Roman Catholic religious order.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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