March 22, 2012 |
A defrocked Philadelphia priest pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy, four days before he and two priests were to face the start of a landmark trial about clergy sex-abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Edward V. Avery, 69, was sentenced to 21/2 to five years in prison under an agreement with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. It was unclear how the sudden plea would affect the trial, scheduled to start Monday, or if Avery would become a witness for the commonwealth.
September 28, 2013 |
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.
September 27, 2013 |
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.
April 25, 2012 |
The two men followed starkly different paths to the witness stand. The 49-year-old was raised in the outer suburbs, graduated from medical school, got married, and had five children. The 23-year-old from Northeast Philadelphia was kicked out of two high schools, attempted suicide, and spent much of the last decade hooked on heroin and prescription drugs. But in tense and emotional testimony to a Common Pleas Court jury on Wednesday, both described a bond: Each said he was sexually abused by his parish priest, Edward Avery.
January 16, 2013 |
THE CRIMINAL TRIAL of a priest and a former Catholic schoolteacher accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy began Monday with the prosecutor calling the defendants "predators" who subjected the boy to "the most vile acts. " Conversely, defense attorneys painted the now-adult accuser as a drug-addicted liar angling for a payout. As their attorneys spoke of them, defendants Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, and Bernard Shero, 49, sat stone-faced and spoke only when they stood to plead not guilty.
February 4, 2013 |
The criminal case resulting from the serial sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northeast Philadelphia altar boy may well have ended with Wednesday's guilty verdicts against a priest and a former Catholic-school teacher. But the convictions of the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero have also opened the door for a civil lawsuit with the potential to reach beyond the two defendants into the hierarchy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The lawsuit by the former St. Jerome's altar boy dubbed "Billy Doe" was filed in July 2011 in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.
September 11, 2003 |
A full house turned out Tuesday night to see the lineup of artists from the clan of hip-hop, assembled by director Jamie Merwin. As she meant it to, the electric program showed this already developed urban art form coming into its own as a place for full-spectrum artistic expression. Merwin and Raphael Xavier's Olive Dance Theatre made a meditative start, with Xavier and Bret Syfert circling warily, each seemingly busking for himself alone. The nine women of Mont?zh, with their high-volume 'tude and mix of shapes, sizes and colors, were way more fun than the Eagles cheerleaders, even if their aesthetic slid dizzily among jazz, club and hip-hop.
October 20, 2011 |
A former altar boy at a North Philadelphia parish filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing a priest of molesting him for three years in the 1990s and blaming church officials for not preventing the alleged abuse. Filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, the claim by the 28-year-old Philadelphia man said the Rev. William Ayres sexually abused him in the church and the rectory at Incarnation of Our Lord parish, as well as at other spots. The lawsuit names the man only as "John Doe 187. " His lawyers say Ayres and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been told his identity.
November 2, 2011 |
A judge said Tuesday that a priest and a teacher accused in a lawsuit of raping a Northeast Philadelphia altar boy could not question the alleged victim until after their criminal trial on the charges next year. Common Pleas Court Judge William J. Manfredi denied the request by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero to interrogate their accuser and be given access to his medical and personal records. He said the parties in the civil case would not have to exchange evidence until next July.
January 17, 2013 |
Lawyers for a priest and a former parochial-school teacher attacked the credibility Wednesday of a 24-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man who says the pair sexually assaulted him when he was a 10-year-old altar boy. The witness - The Inquirer does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault - was questioned for almost four hours by lawyers for the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. On Tuesday, the witness told the Common Pleas Court jury that serial sexual assaults by Engelhardt, another priest, and Shero while he was a fifth grader at St. Jerome's parish school shattered his childhood and propelled him into a life of petty crime and drug addiction.