Oral arguments to begin Monday in sex-abuse trial

A jury has been se­lec­ted in the tri­al of the Rev. Charles En­gel­hardt and school teach­er Bern­ard Shero. They are ac­cused in con­nec­tion with the sexu­al ab­use of an al­tar boy at St. Jerome's par­ish in the late 1990s.

              Or­al ar­gu­ments in the tri­al of a Cath­ol­ic priest and a former par­ish school teach­er who are ac­cused of mo­lest­ing the same St. Jerome school boy in the late 1990s will be­gin Monday morn­ing in Courtroom 1101 of the Crim­in­al Justice Cen­ter, 13th and Fil­bert St.

Twelve jur­ors and six al­tern­ate jur­ors were se­lec­ted by late Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to on­line court re­cords. Jury se­lec­tion, from a pool of more than 100 per­sons, began Monday.

The Rev. Charles En­gel­hardt, an Ob­late of St. Fran­cis De­Sales, and Bern­ard Shero are on tri­al on charges of en­dan­ger­ing chil­dren, in­de­cent as­sault against someone young­er than 13 years old and in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course.

Com­mon Pleas Court Judge El­len Ceisler is presid­ing over the tri­al and has is­sued a gag or­der on all parties.

Shero and En­gel­hardt were ar­res­ted in Feb­ru­ary 2011 along with Monsignor Wil­li­am Lynn, the Rev. James Bren­nan and former priest Ed­ward Avery.

In March 2012, days be­fore he was to go on tri­al with Bren­nan and Lynn, Avery pleaded guilty to mo­lest­ing the same boy En­gel­hardt and Shero are ac­cused of ab­us­ing. Lynn, who was not charged with touch­ing a child, was found guilty of one count of en­dan­ger­ing a child be­cause he had kept Avery in min­istry al­though he was aware Avery was a mo­lester. The jury couldn’t agree on Bren­nan’s guilt or in­no­cence. He will be re­tried in March.

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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