A judge may decide Thursday whether the highest-ranking Catholic church cleric convicted in a child abuse case should be released from detention and placed on house arrest until sentencing.

Monsignor William Lynn was convicted on June 22 of one count of child endangerment.

The landmark trial marked the first time U.S. prosecutors have charged not just the priests who allegedly committed abuses but also church leaders for failing to stop them. Lynn is the highest-ranking cleric accused of imperiling children by helping cover up sexual abuse.

Lynn’s defense team argued during the trial that their client repeatedly told higher-ups about the alleged abuse and, under strict orders from the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, had no authority to remove priests from the ministry.

After the verdict, his attorneys filed a motion requesting that their client be released on house arrest pending his scheduled August 13 sentencing. He could face three-and-a-half to seven years in prison for his conviction on the third-degree felony.

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