PITTSBURGH — Prosecutors have filed a notice of appeal of a western Pennsylvania judge’s ruling throwing out the conviction of a retired Catholic priest accused of having assaulted a boy almost two decades ago.
A spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney’s office said Monday that the brief setting out reasons for the appeal to Superior Court in the case of Father Hugh Lang will be filed at a later date.
Judge Anthony Mariani said last week that he believed that Lang hadn’t received a fair trial. He said prosecutors should not have been allowed to submit evidence that Lang did an internet search for defense attorneys before the release of a grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
The 89-year-old defendant was convicted last year of indecent assault and other charges involving a preteen boy in 2001 when he was pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Munhall. Authorities alleged that during altar boy training, Lang molested and photographed the child. Lang testified that he didn’t know the alleged victim and denied any abuse.
A judge earlier delayed implementation of a nine- to nearly 24-month jail sentence.
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