CALIFORNIA – In an interview with the Mercury News eight years a, William Lynch said that he was so angry at the priest he had sued for molesting him as a child that “I could kill him with my bare hands.”
Lynch surrendered today to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies who suspect him of tracking the Rev. Jerold Lindner to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos in May and pummeling the 65-year-old retired cleric so badly that he ended up in the hospital.
Lynch, 44, of San Francisco, was booked on suspicion of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, a felony, and was given a bail of $25,000. There is no scheduled arraignment.
The retired priest’s condition after the attack was unclear today and he could not be reached for comment.
The vigilante attack on Lindner reportedly happened May 10, when Lynch called the Jesuit retirement home, identifying himself as “Eric.” He pretending to have a “death notification” for the elderly priest, officials said.
The person who answered the phone confirmed Linder was there.
Lynch then showed up and confronted the priest.
“Do you remember me?” he reportedly said.
The priest said he didn’t.
Then, Lynch allegedly said “You abused me and my brother.”
And then he attacked, sheriff’s officials said, beating Lindner with his fists so badly that he left Lidner’s body covered with bruises.
After Lynch fled, police were called. Lynch was reportedly
interviewed by deputies on Oct. 18.
Soon afterward, Lynch’s surrender was arranged through his attorney.
Santa Clara County sheriff’s did not have an immediate answer why it took so long to find Lynch, who had sued Lindner for the abuse years ago.
Lynch could not be reached for comment Friday.
But in 2002, Lynch told the Mrecury News that he has suffered decades of psychological trauma and attempted suicide over his abuse.
Lynch accused Lindner of abusing he and his brother when during a church-led, family camping trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1975.
He said he and his then-4-year-old brother were sodomized by Lindner, forced to perform sexual acts on each other, and told they would go to hell if they told anyone what happened.
Lindner was removed from active ministry in Los Angeles in 1997 in response to a civil suit filed by Lynch that year. He was reportedly sent to the Jesuit Center in 2002.
Jesuit officials reportedly agreed to a confidential settlement.
A 2002 Los Angeles Times report said Lindner has abused children, including members of his own family, since the 1950s.