Jury in priest trial has more questions, no verdict

Posted: January 29, 2013

The Philadelphia jury in the child-rape trial of a priest and ex-Catholic schoolteacher continued deliberations today, submitting a series of questions to the judge about the allegations against Bernard Shero.

The Common Pleas Court jury of eight men and four women asked for a rereading of testimony involving the alleged 1999 rape of a sixth-grader who was in Shero's English class at St. Jerome's parish school in the Northeast.

In addition to the testimony of the now-24-year-old victim, the jury also asked to hear the testimony of Philadelphia Police Det. Andrew Snyder about his investigation of the incident.

But after reviewing the questions with prosecution and defense lawyers, Judge Ellen Ceisler ruled that the transcripts would be too lengthy. She sent a note back to the jurors saying it was up to them to arrive at a collective memory of the testimony.

The jury deliberated seven hours Monday and two on Friday in the case against Shero, 49, and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66.

Engelhardt and Shero were charged in February 2011 with the serial rape of the 10-year-old altar boy while he was in the fifth and sixth grades in the St. Jerome's parish school in 1998-1999.


Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

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