Friday, February 5, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab on what's going on in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy
                                                                          (AP/Matt Rourke)
for BigTrial.net

Chaka “Chip” Fattah Jr.’s sentencing to 5 years in prison for tax and bank fraud along with the ruling for Bill Cosby’s continuance of his sexual-assault charges were this week’s most talked about courtroom dramas. To read the release right out of the U.S. Attorney’s office about Chip’s sentencing, click here.

But while everyone was tuned in to the Cosby and Chip spectacles, there were some other stories worth noting in local courts. 
Eli the Horse
(Courtesy Stables)
 
Philadelphia District Attorney:

Last week’s roundup mentioned a scheduled trial appearance of retired Philly officer Walter Sasse, 77, who was charged with having sexual relations with a minor. On Jan 29., Sasse was convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, corruption of minor and other related offenses. A mental health evaluation and sexual offender assessment has been ordered. Sentencing is scheduled for May 6, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Before trial, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright ordered Sasse not to ride with females under the age of 18. However, Judge Bright told Sasse he was “permitted to ride his horse Eli from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sundays.”


               

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Stonewallers

The original: General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In Philadelphia, three strong silent types represent the law, the church and the Fourth Estate.

We're talking about District Attorney Seth Williams, Archbishop Charles Chaput, and Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow.

And what do all three of these guys have in common? In the case of what increasingly looks like a fraudulent prosecution of the Catholic church -- featuring a compromised investigation, a falsified grand jury report, and a "lying, scheming" star witness -- all three men continue to stonewall. None of these guys will answer any questions.

If the prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was over, the stonewallers might prevail. But the prosecution of the church may have a second act, a third, and possibly even a fourth.

Msgr. William J. Lynn has been granted a new trial. One of Lynn's original co-defendants, Father James J. Brennan, is scheduled for a retrial on Oct. 24th.

And now a trio of criminal defense lawyers say there is newly discovered "Brady material" -- evidence beneficial to the defense allegedly withheld by the prosecution -- that may result in a motion for a new trial on behalf of former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero, now serving 8 to 16 years for the alleged rape of altar boy "Billy Doe."

In Philadelphia, the prosecution of the Catholic Church is seemingly endless. And so are the legal challenges to what increasingly looks like a state-sponsored witch hunt. As those legal challenges play out, the big question is, how long can the stonewallers get away with ignoring the unmistakable stench of corruption?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wiseguys And Wannabes Back In Business

"Uncle Joe" Ligambi and George Borgesi/photo courtesy Fox 29
By George Anastasia
For BigTrial.net

Ron Galati won't be taking part in the underworld renaissance currently unfolding in South Philadelphia.

Instead, the wannabe wiseguy and auto body shop owner, who is already serving a 23-year federal sentence for a murder conspiracy conviction, is due in Common Pleas in September to answer fraud and murder-for-hire charges.

A trial date of Sept. 7 was set this morning at a status conference hearing before Judge Jeffrey Minehart. Galati, his wife Vicki and his son, Ron Jr., are slated to be at the defense table along with several other defendants if that trial goes off as planned.

Galati has been off the streets for the past two years and has missed out on what law enforcement sources are describing as the resurgence of the local crime family. At his bail hearing two years ago, Galati, now 65, was described by Assistant District Attorney Dawn Holtz as having a "close personal relationship" with then mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and Ligambi's nephew, mobster George Borgesi.

Both Ligambi and Borgesi were back in the news this week. On Monday, reporter Dave Schratwieser on a Fox 29 television special report, offered an update on the local mob, noting that Ligambi, Borgesi and others are frequently spotted at a recently opened clubhouse at 11th and Jackson Streets and that Borgesi and others have branched out into the construction and home rehab business with an office on Passyunk Avenue.

The Roundup

A weekly tab on what's going on 
in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy
for BigTrial.net

Philadelphia District Attorney:

The gunman who shot Officer Jesse Hartnett on Jan. 7 in the “name of Islam” is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 25, according to the district attorney’s office. Edward Archer, 30, from Yeadon told detectives, "I follow Allah. I pledge my allegiance to the Islamic State, and that's why I did what I did," according to Homicide Capt. James Clark. The investigation is still pending on whether Archer had direct ties to ISIS or acted on his own. The story has furthered a national conversation around what can be defined as terrorism. Philadelphia’s new mayor, Jim Kenney, said he believed the shooting “has nothing to do with Islam.”

Retired Philadelphia Police Department mounted cop Walter Sasse, 75, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl beginning when she was 15. Sasse is scheduled to make an appearance in court on Jan. 27, according to the District Attorney’s office.The two-and-a-half year relationship allegedly occurred at Courtesy Stables in Andorra where Sasse and the victim worked, according to authorities. Sasse retired in 1991 after 20 years with the force. According to the docket, Sasse was arrested on March 6, 2014 and will stand trial for eight charges, including engaging in anal or oral intercourse (IDSI) with a person less than 16-years-old and indecent assault of someone less than 16-years-old.


Newsweek's Cover Boy Makes A Splash

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In a "victim's impact" statement read in court on June 12, 2013, "Billy Doe" told Judge Ellen Ceisler, "It finally feels good to make my family proud of me."

Well congratulations, Billy. They must have really been proud last week when you were outed coast-to-coast as a lying, scheming fraud with a Pinocchio nose on the cover of Newsweek!

On the internet, reaction to Newsweek's scoop spread across a half-dozen Google pages. Catholic bloggers teed of on the former altar boy. Conservative commentators Breitbart and Hot Air noted the Rolling Stone connection, that the same reporter who bought Billy's serial rape story in that discredited magazine also fell for "Jackie's" bogus story about gang rape at a UVA frat house.

Susan Matthews, publisher at catholics4change.com, wondered, "Why is the church paying the [$]5 million?" Oh, that was another bombshell in the Newsweek story; that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had basically caved in to fraud and paid Billy an estimated $5 million to settle his civil suit for his alleged pain and suffering. Good question, Susan. It's one that every Catholic should be asking their archbishop before they put another dollar in the collection basket.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab on what's going on in the courts.

By Shealyn Kilroy
for BigTrial.net

Philadelphia District Attorney:

Jan. 19 - The capital murder trial of Alfred Whitefield, 42, accused of gunning down Carmen Medina, 31,  and her boyfriend Thomas Gorman, 39, on April 23, 2013 began on Tuesday. In an alleged feud to rent out a drug corner in Kensington, preliminary testimony divulges that Whitefield took Medina and Gorman’s life instead of paying $500. The Medina family’s corner on Somerset and Swanson Streets has been a popular and busy drug corner that sold over 100 prepackaged branded heroin a day, according to authorities.

Two juveniles are schedule for a hearing Friday, Jan. 22, who are accused of beating to death a homeless man outside of a Sunoco in April 2015. Robert Barnes, 51, died from his injuries on Nov. 25, 2015. Out of the six accused, three adults - Aleathea Gillard, 34; Shareena Joachim, 24; and Kaisha Duggins, 24, - face attempted murder charges. Three juveniles are accused of participating in the attack and range in age from 12 to 14-years-old at the time of the incident. Two of the juveniles are Gillard’s children, but their names have not been released.According to the DA’s office, only two of the juveniles are expected to attend Friday’s hearing and could be tried as adults. 



Newsweek Outs "Lying, Scheming Altar Boy"




A forensic psychiatrist and the retired detective who led the district attorney's investigation into Billy Doe's allegations of serial rape don't believe he's telling the truth.

The Newsweek cover story that outed the "lying, scheming altar boy" can be read here.

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/01/29/billy-doe-altar-boy-sends-four-men-prison-philadelphia-rape-case-417565.html



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Scarfo's Cousin Gets 30-Month Term

By George Anastasia
For Bigtrial.net

Nobody wants to go to jail, but 30 months is a lot better than 30 years.

That's the bottom line for John Parisi who was sentenced this morning for his role in the FirstPlus financial fraud case.

Parisi is the cousin of Nicodemo S. Scarfo who, along with Salvatore Pelullo, was convicted last year of masterminding the $14 million ripoff of FirstPlus Financial, a Texas-based mortgage company. The government charged that Scarfo, the son of jailed mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo, and Pelullo, a mob wannabe, used the specter of organized crime to instill fear into FirstPlus officials and employees while secretly taking control of the company back in 2007.

Each was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Judge Robert Kugler back in July.

 

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