SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jury deliberations were set to resume Tuesday in the trial of William Lynch, charged with beating Jesuit priest Jerold Lindner at a San Francisco Bay Area retirement homes decades after the priest allegedly abused Lynch.
Lynch, who is accused of pummeling Lindner with his fists in the May 10, 2010, attack, was called a "vigilante" by prosecutor Vicki Gemetti as she implored jurors to convict him of felony assault and elder abuse during closing arguments Monday.
Gemetti told jurors that Lynch's testimony about his alleged abuse by Lindner was no excuse for beating up the priest 37 years later.
She also stressed that Lynch acknowledged hitting the priest multiple times.
"It was compelling, moving and emotional," Gemetti said of Lynch's testimony. "But he admitted his crime. He admitted his actions."
Gemetti also pointed out that Lynch put on gloves before entering Sacred Heart Jesuit Center and told Lindner to take off his glasses before striking him. She displayed several photographs of a bloodied, bruised Lindner that were taken by police a few hours later.
"This man was pummeled," Gemetti said, noting that everyone deserves justice. "People are prosecuted for robbing their drug dealer. ... Two wrongs don't make a right."
Defense attorney Paul Mones told jurors it was not an act of revenge. Instead, Lynch still felt threatened by Lindner and his memories of the abuse that Mones called torture.
Those "threats were with him up to May 10, 2010," the lawyer said.
Lynch claims Lindner abused him in a tent during a 1975 camping trip. The Catholic Church paid $625,000 to settle a lawsuit involving the claim.
Lynch testified during the trial that he only wanted Lindner to sign a written confession but turned to violence after feeling threatened by the demeanor of the priest.
Meanwhile, Lindner was last seen in court more than a week ago, scurrying down a back staircase as a woman demanded he look her in the eye while she accused him of sexual assault.