A Roman Catholic church official in the US, who was convicted of covering up sexual abuses against children by priests, has been released from prison after winning an appeal.

A Pennsylvania prison spokeswoman says Monsignor William Lynn was released on Thursday from prison after serving 18 months.

The 62-year-old Lynn was the first US church official charged for hiding complaints that priests were molesting children. He handled such complaints in Philadelphia from 1992-2004.

Prosecutors charged him with felony child endangerment. But the appeals court says the law at the time did not cover people who do not directly supervise children.

The Philadelphia Sheriff's Office is taking Lynn to a Philadelphia jail to be fitted with an electronic monitoring device, before he is released.

Prosecutors are appealing the Superior Court ruling.

Source: Agencies