February 1, 2013 |
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.
January 30, 2013
The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury evaluating the child-rape case against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former parochial-school teacher Bernard Shero will return Wednesday after a second full day of deliberations without a verdict. The jury of eight men and four women, which deliberated for two hours on Friday, followed by seven-hour days Monday and Tuesday, broke only to send a request to Judge Ellen Ceisler to have portions of the transcript involving Shero read back to them.
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.
January 28, 2013 |
JURY DELIBERATIONS began Friday afternoon in the trial of a Catholic priest and a former Catholic-schoolteacher who are accused of sexually assaulting the same altar boy in the late 1990s. The Common Pleas jury got the case after hearing closing arguments from Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti and defense attorney Michael J. McGovern, who represents the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66. Defense attorney Burton Rose, who represents Bernard Shero, 50, gave his closing argument Thursday.
January 27, 2013 |
After 81/2 days of testimony and closing arguments that brought the alleged victim to tears, a Philadelphia jury has begun working toward a verdict in the child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and ex-parochial-school teacher. The Common Pleas Court jury of eight men and four women met for two hours Friday before breaking until Monday. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are charged in one of the most salacious episodes in the 2011 county investigating grand jury report on child sex-abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia: the serial rape of a 10-year-old Northeast boy. Engelhardt, 66, and Shero, 49, have pleaded not guilty to assaulting the altar boy the grand jury named "Billy Doe. " The victim, now 24, contacted archdiocesan and civil authorities in January 2009, alleging that Engelhardt, Edward V. Avery, and Shero had serially raped him when he was in fifth and sixth grades at St. Jerome's parish.
January 25, 2013
By Louis Lombardi Less than a year ago, Edward Avery, a defrocked priest, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing an altar boy from Northeast Philadelphia. The crime he admitted was horrific, and he was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years in a state penitentiary. But last week, Avery was in court again recanting his confession. Now, convicted criminals routinely insist on their innocence, and we don't usually pay them much mind. But sometimes we should. The question of Avery's guilt affects not only him, but also Msgr.
January 25, 2013 |
The child-rape trial of a Philadelphia Catholic priest and an ex-parochial-school teacher goes to a Common Pleas Court jury Friday after the end of testimony and one defense lawyer's plea for acquittal. Burton A. Rose urged jurors not to convict former teacher Bernard Shero because of his awkward appearance or the salacious nature of the charges against him. In his closing Thursday, Rose read the list of charges against the 49-year-old, vision-impaired English teacher: rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, child endangerment, and two related counts.
January 21, 2013 |
Strange, awkward, socially inept - witness descriptions of former parochial-school teacher Bernard Shero have been consistent. Prosecutors allege that the traits are consistent with a man who raped a pupil - a 10-year-old altar boy - in the backseat of his car. But, as Shero's lawyer suggests, are they just the personality of a man whose physical disability made him a social outcast and easy target of children's jeers and rumors? Both sides pressed their interpretations Friday on the Philadelphia jury hearing the trial of Shero and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt.