The question of whether Msgr. William J. Lynn may remain on house arrest or must return to prison to complete his three- to six-year term for child endangerment will be heard Thursday by a Philadelphia judge.
The hearing was set by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina after the District Attorney's Office moved to have the Catholic cleric's bail revoked when the state Supreme Court reinstated Lynn's conviction Monday.
Lynn, 64, was convicted following a landmark 13-week trial in 2012 involving his role supervising priests accused of sexually abusing children.
Sarmina sentenced Lynn, and he served about 18 months before being released on house arrest Jan. 2, 2014, after Superior Court reversed his conviction. Lynn has lived since in the rectory of St. William Church in Crescentville.
After Lynn's conviction was reinstated, the District Attorney's Office immediately moved to revoke bail.
Defense attorney Thomas A. Bergstrom on Wednesday filed a motion asking for Lynn to remain free on $250,000 bail and house arrest pending further appeals. Bergstrom's motion maintains that bail should be decided by Superior Court, not Sarmina.
"William Lynn has abided all the rules and regulations imposed on him," wrote Bergstrom. "William Lynn is neither a danger nor a flight risk. This is evident by the fact that the commonwealth provides no reasons to revoke William Lynn's bail; none are cited because none exist."
As the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, Lynn was responsible for investigating sex-abuse complaints made against priests and recommending punishment to the archbishop.
After 12 days of deliberations, a Common Pleas Court jury found that Lynn allowed the Rev. Edward V. Avery, who had a history of sexually abusing children, to live in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory, where he later assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. Avery pleaded guilty in the 1999 attack and is serving five years in prison.
Lynn's appeal argued that he could not be convicted for his supervisory role, because the state child-endangerment statute was not amended to include supervisors until 2007 - three years after Lynn left as clergy secretary. Superior Court agreed and reversed Lynn's conviction.
But on Monday, the Supreme Court said a broad interpretation of the earlier 1995 statute supported the verdict.
"That which is supervised is the child's welfare," wrote Justice Max Baer in the court's 4-1 majority opinion. "Under the facts presented at trial, [Lynn] was a person supervising the welfare of many children because, as a high-ranking official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he was specifically responsible for protecting children from sexually abusive priests."