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Altar Boy

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.
NEWS
January 18, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzianand 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 17, 2013 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Speaking quietly but firmly, a 24-year-old man testified for more than two hours Tuesday about enduring a series of childhood sexual assaults by two Catholic priests and a teacher, all of whom worked at a church and middle school less than a mile from his Northeast Philadelphia home. The molestation began in the late 1990s when the man was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome's, a Catholic school near Pennypack Park, and left him overwhelmed by fear, guilt, and shame, he testified in Common Pleas Court.
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