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Altar Boy

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NEWS
February 1, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
MINUTES before former Catholic-school teacher Bernard Shero was convicted Wednesday of raping an altar boy, he joked with the court crier and a deputy sheriff about leaving the courtroom. "Good effort, though," Shero chuckled, when told he couldn't. Shero wasn't laughing for long. On its fourth day of deliberating, a Common Pleas jury convicted Shero, 50, of all five crimes of which he was accused, and convicted his co-defendant, disgraced priest Charles Engelhardt, of four of the five counts against him. The jury deadlocked on one charge against Engelhardt, 66: involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child.
NEWS
May 23, 2002 | Daily News Wire Services
A former altar boy has accused Lexington Bishop J. Kendrick Williams of abusing him 21 years ago, one of a dozen new lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Louisville alleging its priests sexually abused children. James W. Bennett said he was 12 at the time of the alleged molestation. "I quit going to the church after it happened," he told the Associated Press on Tuesday. Williams proclaimed his innocence yesterday. "I am stunned and saddened by this accusation," he said.
NEWS
September 23, 1989 | By Kitty Caparella, Daily News Staff Writer
Two sides of reputed Junior Black Mafia street boss Aaron Jones emerged at a hearing yesterday to consider whether Jones' $5 million bail for shooting a convicted drug dealer should be reduced. John Jones Jr., a new car salesman, testified that his younger brother, Aaron Jones, 27, of S. 51st Street near Cedar Avenue, is one of 13 children. Aaron Jones was an altar boy at St. Francis DeSales, played sports and chess, worked on the yearbook and graduated from West Catholic High School in 1979 before attending Temple University, his brother said.
NEWS
June 3, 1990 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
James Lombardo's hearing is failing a little, he has an ornery knee and a squinty eye, but otherwise, time appears to have done little to weaken the oldest altar boy in the history of St. Mary's Manor retirement home. When he kneels on the red velvet pad to ring the brass bells during Mass, Lombardo sometimes leans against the marble pillar to ease his descent. When he carries the cut-glass pitcher of wine to fill the priest's chalice, his steps verge on a shuffle. He is 94. These are the small concessions he must make to his age. Lombardo was somewhat mature to make a start as an altar boy. He was 77 and had just moved into St. Mary's Manor in Lansdale.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THE LATEST young man to accuse a Philadelphia Catholic priest of molesting him as an altar boy told a jury yesterday that the experience so badly shocked, embarrassed and debilitated him that he turned to drugs, alcohol and multiple suicide attempts before reaching his teens. The slim man, dressed in a white shirt, black tie and slacks, emotionally spoke of being 10 years old in 1997 when the Rev. Andrew McCormick invited him to the priest's rectory bedroom at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.
NEWS
October 4, 2012 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer
A PHILADELPHIA judge Tuesday reinstated three felony charges against a Catholic priest who is accused of forcing oral sex on a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997. Father Andrew McCormick sat stoically at the defense table as Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick held him for trial after a brief hearing on involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault and statutory sexual assault. Those charges were dismissed by Municipal Judge Karen Y. Simmons following an August preliminary hearing, during which the now-24-year-old alleged victim testified that McCormick, 56, straddled him and put his penis on the victim's lips and on his teeth.
NEWS
September 28, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The Rev. Robert L. Brennan's name loomed large in the "Secret Archives," the guarded personnel files of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Brennan also figured prominently in Philadelphia grand jury reports in 2005 and 2011. In last year's trial of a church official for covering up clergy sex abuse, witnesses detailed allegations that Brennan sexually abused about 20 boys while being transferred from parish to parish over a span of 15 years. Brennan, however, was never charged because the allegations happened too far back to be prosecuted.
NEWS
October 19, 2011 | By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former altar boy at a North Philadelphia parish today filed a lawsuit accusing a priest of molesting him for three years in the 1990s and blaming church officials for not preventing the abuse. Filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, the claim by a 28-year-old Philadelphia man said the Rev. William Ayres sexually abused him in the church and rectory at Incarnation of Our Lord parish, as well as at other spots. The lawsuit names the man only as "John Doe 187" but his lawyers say Ayres and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been told his identity.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A FORMER Philadelphia Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy, the Philadelphia district attorney announced yesterday. The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested Wednesday night in Maryland and charged with rape and related crimes for allegedly abusing the boy from 1998 to 2001, when he was 11 to 14 years old. Brennan, who was in his early 60s at the time of the alleged assault, was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, in the Northeast.
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NEWS
March 7, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
HIS FACE turning red yesterday, the Rev. Andrew McCormick turned toward the nine women and three men who will decide his fate and blurted out: "I want the jury to know that I never molested [a former altar boy]. I want to convince you of that. " Moments later, when asked by defense lawyer William J. Brennan if he had ever molested any of the estimated 700 altar boys he came in contact with over 14 years at a Bridesburg church, McCormick, 57, was succinct: "Never," he said, bringing his lawyer's brief questioning to a sudden conclusion.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Accused Catholic priest the Rev. Andrew McCormick took the witness stand in his defense Wednesday and denied molesting any altar boys, telling a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury: "I want to convince you of that. " Agitated and blushing, at times talking over questions from his lawyer and the prosecutor, McCormick, 57, denied the allegation by a 26-year-old man, who said the priest sexually assaulted him in 1997 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. John Cantius in Bridesburg.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting an altar boy in 1997 was suspended from ministry in 2011 after he twice gave deceptive answers during polygraph tests when asked about touching children's genitals, a prosecutor said yesterday. The revelation about the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, was made in court by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp. It was made following the closing arguments by defense lawyer William J. Brennan and after the jury had been escorted from the room.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After three days of prosecution testimony, the sexual-assault trial of Catholic priest Andrew McCormick moves to the defense Wednesday with the priest's lawyers saying they have not decided whether their client will testify. On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp completed her case in a day dominated by a former Bridesburg altar boy's conflicted testimony about his relationship with McCormick. Adam Visconto, now 27, told the Common Pleas Court jury that McCormick was an influential spiritual mentor at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ten years old, trying to accept his homosexuality and cope with his parents' imminent breakup, the young man was thrilled when "Father Andy" asked him to be an altar boy. "I thought it was great, I thought he was like my friend," said the now 26-year-old man. And it was great, until one night after an evening Mass in December 1997, when, he said, the Rev. Andrew McCormick took him to his bedroom in the rectory, undressed him, and tried to force...
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THE LATEST young man to accuse a Philadelphia Catholic priest of molesting him as an altar boy told a jury yesterday that the experience so badly shocked, embarrassed and debilitated him that he turned to drugs, alcohol and multiple suicide attempts before reaching his teens. The slim man, dressed in a white shirt, black tie and slacks, emotionally spoke of being 10 years old in 1997 when the Rev. Andrew McCormick invited him to the priest's rectory bedroom at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.
NEWS
January 4, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Msgr. William J. Lynn was released from state prison Thursday, but before he returns to private life, he must again face the judge who put him behind bars. After serving about 18 months in prison, Lynn left the prison in Waymart, in Northeastern Pennsylvania, on Thursday, a week after an appeals court overturned his child-endangerment conviction. Prosecutors are challenging the decision. On Monday, Lynn is to appear before Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who in 2012 sentenced him to three to six years in prison for his role in enabling priests to abuse children.
NEWS
January 3, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
MONSIGNOR William Lynn has not been released from state prison in northeastern Pennsylvania yet, but life is looking rosier for him in the new year. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on New Year's Eve posted $25,000, or 10 percent of his $250,000 bail, enough to free him. But Lynn, the Archdiocese's former secretary for clergy, still needs to have his electronic-monitoring system set up and may not be freed "until the end of the week or next week," his attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, said yesterday.
NEWS
December 31, 2013 | By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Under a steady rain Sunday, Judy and Chuck Miller took up spots that have often been occupied by child-abuse victim advocates: the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Judy Miller leads the Delaware branch of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a group that hosted regular protests after the 2011 grand jury report about clergy sex-abuse in Philadelphia. Her return Sunday was prompted by last week's Superior Court ruling that overturned the conviction of Msgr.
NEWS
December 27, 2013 | BY DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writer gambacd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5994
MONSIGNOR William Lynn received a belated Christmas gift yesterday from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania: a get-out-of-jail-free card. A three-judge appeals panel overturned Lynn's 2012 conviction of felony child endangerment for his questionable oversight of Edward Avery, a now-defrocked priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who pleaded guilty in 2012 of sexually assaulting an altar boy in 1998. Lynn, 62, who served as the archdiocese's secretary for clergy, has spent the last 18 months behind bars as part of a three- to six-year sentence.
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