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Altar Boy

NEWS
January 28, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
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.
NEWS
January 27, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
January 21, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
January 19, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian and John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writers
Ten months ago, defrocked Catholic priest Edward V. Avery began serving a sentence of 21/2 to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a 10-year-old altar boy from the Northeast. On Thursday, Avery, 70, returned to a Philadelphia courtroom and recanted his guilty plea - denying any contact with the alleged victim and tossing into turmoil the trial of a former St. Jerome's parish priest and a schoolteacher charged with serially sexually assaulting the same boy in 1998 and 1999.
NEWS
January 18, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
January 18, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A DEFROCKED Catholic priest who pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting an altar boy recanted his guilty plea on the witness stand Thursday, dealing a blow to prosecutors making a case against two other men on trial for allegedly molesting the same boy. Defrocked priest Edward Avery, 70, who is serving a 2 1/2-to-5-year state prison sentence, denied touching or even knowing the victim. Avery had been expected to buttress the prosecution's case against Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, and ex-teacher Bernard Shero, 49, who are being tried in Common Pleas Court for allegedly raping a St. Jerome Parish altar boy in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
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