Engelhardt, 66, and Shero, 49, are charged with serially sexually assaulting the 10-year-old boy, called "Billy Doe" in the 2011 county grand jury report about clergy sex abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The assaults allegedly occurred while Engelhardt was a pastor and Shero a teacher assigned to St. Jerome's parish in the Northeast.
Beyond the two men and charges against them, prospective jurors are being asked what they know about last year's landmark three-month trial of the first three charged after the grand jury report.
That trial received international news coverage and ended June 22 when the jury found Msgr. William J. Lynn guilty of child endangerment, the first church administrator convicted for a priest's sexual abuse of a child.
Lynn, 62, who as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004 was responsible for investigating allegations against priests, was sentenced to three to six years. He is in a state prison and appealing his conviction.
The current trial, expected to last about two weeks, will focus on one episode in the grand jury report, the alleged serial sexual assault of Billy at St. Jerome's.
Billy, now 23, was allegedly first abused by Engelhardt in 1998 after the fifth grader served an early-morning weekday Mass.
A few months later, the grand jury report continued, Billy was accosted by another priest, the Rev. Edward Avery, the chaplain at nearby Nazareth Hospital, who lived at St. Jerome's rectory. Avery allegedly told Billy that he had heard of the boy's "sessions" with Engelhardt.
Avery, now 70 and in prison, had a history of sexually abusing children. He pleaded guilty before last year's trial to molesting Billy and is in prison.
After summer break, Billy returned to St. Jerome's for sixth grade and was assigned to Shero's class. Shero allegedly raped Billy after offering him a ride home.
The fifth person charged, the Rev. James J. Brennan, 49, will be retried March 6 in connection with the attempted rape of a 14-year-old boy in 1996. Brennan was tried with Lynn, but the jury could not reach a verdict.
Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @joeslobo on Twitter.