Northeast Times

Trial date reset for two in archdiocesan sex scandal

Start­Frag­ment

Yet an­oth­er tri­al date has been set for two de­fend­ants in the arch­dioces­an sex scan­dal.

The Rev. Charles En­gel­hardt and former Cath­ol­ic ele­ment­ary school teach­er Bern­ard Shero, both charged with sexu­ally as­sault­ing the same St. Jerome par­ish al­tar boy in the late 1990s, are sched­uled to go on tri­al on Jan. 7.

Ac­cord­ing to on­line court re­cords, their tri­al will be­gin at 9 a.m. in Room 1101 of the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter, 13th and Fil­bert streets.

En­gel­hardt, an Ob­late of St. Fran­cis De­Sales, and Shero, who had taught at St. Jerome’s school in the North­east, had been slated to go on tri­al Sept. 4, but their tri­al was post­poned and they were as­signed a new judge.

Deaths in the fam­ily of En­gel­hardt’s at­tor­ney, Mi­chael McGov­ern, forced post­pone­ment of the tri­al to Oct. 22. Also, Com­mon Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who had presided over the tri­al of two former co-de­fend­ants, has such a full sched­ule that she was un­able to con­tin­ue. Com­mon Pleas Court Judge El­len Ceisler will preside.

The Oc­to­ber tri­al date was pushed to early Janu­ary dur­ing a courtroom con­fer­ence Sept. 14, ac­cord­ing to court re­cords. An­oth­er pre-tri­al con­fer­ence is set for Nov. 15 in the CJC’s Room 1005.

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 Sarmina in late March of this year, but Shero’s and En­gel­hardt’s cases were sep­ar­ated.

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, DA’s spokes­wo­man Tasha Jamer­son said earli­er this month.

Lynn 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.

Lynn since has ap­pealed his con­vic­tion in Su­per­i­or Court. He has been in­car­cer­ated since June 22. Sarmina denied bail mo­tions. On Sept. 13, a mo­tion to free the monsignor on bail while his ap­peal pro­ceeds was denied, ac­cord­ing to court re­cords.

Lynn’s at­tor­neys on Monday asked the court to re­con­sider their bail mo­tion. The Phil­adelphia In­quirer re­por­ted Tues­day that the law­yers are main­tain­ing Avery lied about his ac­tions when he pleaded guilty. ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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