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