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Crime & Courts

California Man Accused of Assaulting Priest Claims He Was Sexually Abused

A California man accused of assaulting a retired priest over sexual abuse that allegedly took place decades ago appeared before a judge Wednesday at a preliminary hearing to determine whether his case will go to trial.

William Lynch, 43, claims he had a justified reason for attacking the priest, 65-year-old Jerrold Lindner, at a retirement home last year in Los Gatos, Calif., reports.

Lynch, who was charged with felony assault, contends Lindner molested him and his younger brother three decades ago when the boys were ages 5 and 7. Lynch claims the abuse occurred in the Santa Cruz Mountains during camping trips.

Mark Geragos, Lynch's attorney, told KTVU he found it "laughable" that Lindner is not being prosecuted for the alleged abuse.

"They don’t want to prosecute the past," Geragos said. "Name a single court case where the prosecution doesn’t want to bring in some past act of the defendant."

Protesters supporting Lynch carried signs and chanted "Jail Father Jerry" outside the court house. Other signs read "Clergy Sexual Abuse Steals Lives" and "Free Willy," in reference to Lynch.

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