July 30, 2011 |
THE FIVE DEFENDANTS in the Philadelphia Catholic church sex scandal will be tried together, a judge ruled yesterday. During the case's final pretrial hearing, Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom denied the defendants' requests for separate trials and most of their motions to dismiss conspiracy charges. Ransom also denied a motion by the attorney for Monsignor William Lynn that would have allowed the state Superior Court to determine if the endangering-the-welfare-of-children statute applied to Lynn.
January 18, 2013 |
Facing imminent arrest for the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old pupil in his English class, parochial school teacher Bernard Shero penned a sad letter apologizing to his parents for the "ridicule and shame," took an overdose of sleeping pills and waited for death in his Bristol apartment. Death did not arrive on Feb. 10, 2011 but Philadelphia police Det. Andrew Snyder did and the detective told a Common Pleas Court jury today how lucky timing let him arrest Shero instead of follow him to the morgue.
March 7, 2014 |
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.
January 16, 1998 |
A priest who says he is seeking treatment for a "sex addiction" admitted yesterday in Bucks County Court that, over the course of three years, he supplied an altar boy with beer, shared a bed with him, hugged him, and kissed him on the lips. The Rev. Michael Swierzy, 49, of Downingtown, a former principal of Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, who most recently ministered at St. John the Evangelist church in Lower Makefield Township, pleaded guilty to one count of corruption of minors and was sentenced to five years' probation.
October 22, 2010 |
In Stone , an ambiguous film boasting a quartet of mesmerizing performances, Robert De Niro and Edward Norton are inscrutable antagonists in what appears to be a high-stakes game of liars' poker. Norton is Stone, convicted arsonist, who hopes to win parole after serving eight years of his 10-to-15-year sentence. De Niro is Jack Mabry, parole officer on the brink of retirement, who will determine Stone's fate. In the movie written by Angus MacLachlan ( Junebug ) and directed by John Curran ( The Painted Veil )
June 12, 2012 |
Jurors in the landmark sex-abuse trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests resumed deliberations this afternoon after a three-day break. The panel last met on Thursday, when Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina agreed to jury's request to be excused all of Friday and Monday morning because of graduations and other family commitments. They also have requested to be off Wednesday if they had not reached verdicts against Msgr. William J. Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan.
April 24, 2012 |
Edward Avery might be gone from the defense table at the landmark clergy-sex-abuse trial involving Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, but he remains a pivotal figure in the case. On Monday, prosecutors and defense lawyers clashed over what jurors could and should be told about Avery, a defrocked priest who was removed as a defendant last month after his last-minute plea to charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina suggested that jurors could even hear from Avery himself.
August 18, 2012 |
A municipal judge stunned Philadelphia prosecutors on Thursday when she threw out the most serious charges against a Roman Catholic pastor accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Philadelphia altar boy in 1997. Judge Karen Simmons issued her ruling after the alleged victim testified that the Rev. Andrew McCormick had led him to his rectory bedroom in the Bridesburg section one evening in 1997, stripped to his boxers, straddled him, and tried to force him to perform oral sex. McCormick's lawyer, William J. Brennan, argued that the allegations did not justify charges of felony sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse because there was "absolutely no evidence" of clear penetration.
December 24, 2003 |
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, to a young altar boy at St. Patrick's Church in Jersey City in 1956, felt like a medieval mysterium. It had all the pomp of the centuries-old Tridentine Mass sung in Latin by the priest at the altar, and answered by the choir from the shadowed loft at the rear of the darkened church. Memory carries the treasure of this moment. Altar boys enter and swing bronze censers as wreaths of evergreen and holly shudder to the sounds of a thousand parishioners rising as one, singing the opening lines of "Adeste Fidelis," and the bells above us begin to ring out from the high stone towers.