Dear Judge Sarmina,
My name is Bob Fisher and I had the opportunity of testifying at Msgr. Lynn’s trial April 25th. I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you how my life has been affected by my abuse and its aftermath. Edward Avery’s assault on me was psychological and spiritual as well as sexual in nature. Its effects on my life have been global and pervasive and have altered its trajectory. That is not to say that it has ruined my life by any stretch of the imagination. I have in many ways an amazing life and family despite what happened to me. However, these accomplishments and blessings do not mitigate the pain, I have carried because of Edward Avery’s actions.
My abuse led to great difficulties in the area of trust and relationships particularly with men resulting in my having a fairly small support circle at this point in my life. I have struggled with my own psycho sexual identity and the disruption of my spiritual center. There were bouts of depression and thoughts of suicide with attempts at self medication with alcohol and just general numbing out over the years. The only way forward had been a rigid compartmentalization of this part of my life away from the “normal” life I was pursuing. This took considerable energy and attention away from my becoming the husband, father and physician I wanted to be and has exacted an incalculable toll on our lives over the years. There has also been a direct and indirect negative financial impact related to my abuse, its aftermath and more recently to this trial.
I first broke my silence regarding what Edward Avery did to me in 1992. I had been struggling with the pain and shame for over 10 years and I wanted to make a break with the past I had also become concerned that Avery might do the same to someone else. I approached the Archdiocese through the office of Secretary for Clergy as I was advised to do. Msgr Lynn represented the church and resolution of this matter to me. I put my faith in and trusted that the right thing would be done; approaching Msgr Lynn with the expectation that his actions would be consistent with the values I had learned through my faith. I stressed in my communications with Msgr Lynn that I felt that Edward Avery might offend again. I conveyed the great difficulties that the abuse was causing me in my life. I never received the acknowledgment or validation from him confirming what I had experienced. I never knew that he had concluded as early as 1994 that Avery was guilty of abusing me. I was left to wonder whether he and the Archdiocese even believed me. I later had to pursue the truth of whether Edward Avery was in a safe assignment after I began to hear that he was DJ-ING and was around young people. I was assured by Msgr Lynn that Edward Avery was in a safe assignment.
When I was contacted.by the DA’s office in the fall of 2010 my worst fears were confirmed and I learned that at least one more child had been abused by Edward Avery. I felt that despite everything I had done in exposing this that I had failed this young man. However this was not my responsibility and I learned about the utterly negligent way in which my allegation and the subsequent decisions regarding Edward Avery’s treatment and supervision were handled. Msgr Lynn had all the information he needed to conclude that Edward Avery was a sex offender in 1994 and did so. Edward Avery was laicized in 2006 based on the investigation Msgr Lynn launched in 2003 into my original allegation. Nothing had changed in that 10 year period with regard to the allegation. However for one little boy at St Jerome’s everything changed. Msgr Lynn had all the information he needed to save this young man from a lifetime of pain, instead he made a series of choices to maintain an evil status quo. At the end of the day that is what this all boils down to – a young boy was raped and those who could have prevented it had other priorities. Nothing would make me happier than to see Msgr. Lynn accept responsibility for his role in the unjust system he influenced for many years and become an outspoken advocate for the rights of the abused. That would truly be a sign of his rehabilitation. I hope to live to see that day. I thank you for your careful consideration of this matter.
Robert Fisher MD