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Sex abuse testimony from other victims barred in San Jose priest assault case

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POSTED June 26, 2012 8:55 p.m.

SAN JOSE  (AP) — Defense attorneys of a man who says he assaulted a priest for molesting him decades ago suffered a setback Tuesday when a judge barred testimony from other alleged victims of child abuse by the same cleric.

It was one of several rulings by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena that restricted testimony about alleged molestations by Jerold Lindner, a Jesuit priest who is the victim in the assault case against William Lynch.

In defending Lynch, his attorney has sought to put the priest's conduct on trial.

But the judge denied a defense request for a mistrial in the case on Tuesday, one day after Lindner invoked his right against self-incrimination and refused to testify further.

According to the San Jose Mercury News Cena disallowed testimony from three additional alleged victims of Lindner.

The judge on Monday had ordered the jury to ignore Lindner's previous testimony, in which he denied molesting Lynch and his brother when the two were children.

After Linder's testimony, defense attorneys had called for a mistrial on the grounds that they would not have the opportunity to cross-examine Lindner.

Prosecutors have said they expected Lindner to lie about the sexual abuse claims during testimony but argued that's no defense against assault charges.

Lynch's attorney says Lindner's lying on the witness stand could open the priest to a perjury charge.

Lynch, 44, pleaded not guilty to charges that he beat Lindner in 2010 at a retirement home for priests near San Jose. He has accused Lindner of raping him in 1975.

The trial began last week in a courtroom filled with dozens of spectators claiming to be sexual abuse victims of the Catholic Church. Several more demonstrated outside with signs decrying the church's abuse scandal.

The Catholic Church has settled a civil lawsuit Lynch and his brother filed.

 

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