Charles Engelhardt, 65, an Oblate of St. Francis DeSales, taught at Father Judge and North Catholic high schools. He also had been pastor of Mater Dolorosa parish in Frankford. He is accused of molesting a 10-year-old St. Jerome’s altar boy in the 1990s. He pleaded not guilty. He was to be tried with the four other defendants, but his case was separated. He is represented by Michael McGovern and is scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 4.
Edward Avery, 69, a defrocked priest, pleaded guilty to molesting the same St. Jerome’s altar boy who accused Engelhardt. He entered the plea on March 22, just days before he was scheduled to go on trial with Monsignor William Lynn and James Brennan on March 26. He was sentenced to two and a half to five years imprisonment. He is represented by Michael Wallace. Although Avery was not tried, his activities as a priest and part-time disc jockey were examined at length during Lynn’s and Brennan’s trial. Lynn’s investigation of Avery and his recommendations for his assignment were a large part of the prosecution’s case. Avery’s victim testified during the trial. The archdiocese itself reported Avery and Engelhardt to authorities, an action that precipitated a grand jury investigation that led to the arrests.
James Brennan, 49, was accused of attempted rape of a suburban teenage boy in 1996 and conspiracy. He pleaded not guilty, and trial jurors were deadlocked on the charges against him. Although Brennan was not the original focus of their investigation, grand jurors became aware of him and looked into his activities as well as how he was investigated by Lynn. Brennan is defended by William Brennan, but had other attorneys before the lawyer, who is no relation, took his case. James Brennan did not wear clerical clothing during the trial, a point that was alluded to by prosecutors during the last day of the defense’s case. That reference spurred an outburst from William Brennan, who was then cited for contempt. The priest also is represented by Richard J. Fuschino Jr.
James Brennan did not testify. His accuser, now an adult, did.
William Lynn, 61, at his arrest in February 2011, was the highest-ranking American Roman Catholic administrator to face charges in a clerical sex abuse case. Sometimes referred to as the archdiocese of Philadelphia’s personnel, or HR, director, he had served 12 years as Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s secretary for clergy and, as part of that job, investigated allegations against priests accused of sexually abusing minors. He had testified at least 10 times before the first grand jury that investigated the city’s priests. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and endangering children. Lynn spent almost three days on the stand. The monsignor and his attorneys repeatedly said that he did not have the authority to assign priests and, therefore, can’t be held responsible for the crimes committed by archdiocesan priests. After verdicts were announced June 22, one of Lynn’s attorneys said the monsignor was a fall guy for others in the Catholic Church. Lynn is represented by Thomas Bergstrom, Jeff Lindy, Alan Tauber and Allison Khaskelis.
Bernard Shero, 49, a former lay teacher at St. Jerome’s parish school in Winchester Park, was accused of raping the same altar boy allegedly molested by both Engelhardt and Avery. A conspiracy charge against him was thrown out in the spring, and his attorney, Burton Rose, immediately sought to have his case separated from that of the other defendants. Eventually, Rose succeeded. Shero will be tried Sept. 4 with Engelhardt. ••EndFragment