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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- A jury has acquitted a man charged with assaulting a retired priest he says molested him more than three decades ago in California.
The jury of nine men and three women returned its verdict Thursday against William Lynch after starting deliberations Monday in San Jose.
Prosecutors say Lynch acted as a vigilante when he pummeled Jerold Lindner with his fists in the 2010 attack. They said Lynch's testimony about his alleged sexual abuse by Lindner was no excuse for beating up the priest years later.
Defense attorneys countered that it was not an act of revenge. Instead, they said Lynch wanted the priest to sign a confession and still felt threatened by him and the memories of the abuse.
Lindner denied on the witness stand that he molested Lynch.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)