Two men scheduled to go on trial last week in the archdiocesan sex scandal instead got a new court date and a new judge.
Deaths in the family of Michael McGovern, who represents the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, forced postponement of the trial to Oct. 22, said Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.
Engelhardt, an Oblate of St. Francis DeSales, had been scheduled to go on trial Sept. 4 with Bernard Shero, who had been a lay teacher at St. Jerome’s parish school in the Northeast. Both men are charged with molesting the same St. Jerome parish altar boy in the late 1990s.
Shero and Engelhardt were arrested in February 2011 along with Monsignor William Lynn, the Rev. James Brennan and former priest Edward Avery. All five had been scheduled to be tried together before Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina in late March of this year, but Shero’s and Engelhardt’s cases were separated and their trials were set to start right after the Labor Day weekend.
Before the March 26 trial began for Avery, Lynn and Brennan, Avery pleaded guilty to molesting the same boy who allegedly was Engelhardt’s and Shero’s victim.
Avery was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison and might be a witness in Shero and Engelhardt’s upcoming trial, Jamerson said Monday.
Lynn, who was never accused of touching a child, was found guilty of child endangerment June 22 for allowing Avery to continue in his ministry and have contact with minors even though Lynn had known the man was a molester. He was found innocent of the same charge in regard to Brennan and also acquitted of conspiracy.
Jurors couldn’t reach a decision on attempted rape and child endangerment charges against Brennan. He will be retried in March.Sarmina, who usually presides over murder trials, has too much on her schedule to continue on the bench in the Shero and Engelhardt case. Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler will take over when the trial begins next month. ••EndFragment