Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today applauded the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s decision upholding the 2007 convictions of Gerald Lynch. A jury convicted Lynch of four counts of first degree sexual assault for assaults that took place more than 20 years prior to the trial.
During the trial, the State proved that Lynch had sexually assaulted a teenage boy at Lynch’s Pawtucket florist shop. The assaults took place over a two year period between 1983 and 1985 when the victim was 14 and 15 years of age.
After the verdict, Superior Court Justice Clifton sentenced Lynch to four concurrent sentences of 20 years, with 10 years to serve and 10 years suspended with probation. Lynch appealed the convictions to the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Lynch has been out on bail pending his appeal.
The Supreme Court upheld Lynch’s convictions, holding that the State had introduced sufficient evidence that Lynch used force to engage in the sexual acts with the victim, an element of first degree sexual assault, and that the trial justice properly (1) admitted evidence of the relative ages and sizes of Lynch and the victim; (2) allowed the victim to testify about the effects that the sexual assaults had on him; and (3) instructed the jury about Lynch’s defense that the sexual activity was consensual.
“I am pleased by the decision to uphold these convictions. At the time of the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual assaults did in fact take place as the victim testified,” said Attorney General Kilmartin. “It took a great deal of courage for the victim to come forward 20 years after the sexual assaults, and I hope this decision will bring him some comfort and sense of justice to know that Mr. Lynch will pay for his crimes.”
The original case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Maureen Keough. Special Assistant Attorney General Christopher Bush argued the case before the Rhode Island Supreme Court.