Friday, March 22, 2013

"A Tragic Miscarriage Of Justice"

By Ralph Cipriano
for bigtrial.net

An alternate juror in the Engelhardt-Shero case recalled the moment she got a courtesy call from the court clerk, telling her the jury had reached a verdict.

It seemed pretty fast to her. The call came in at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2013, after three days of deliberation, only five days after she had been dismissed as an alternate.

They came back guilty on all the charges except one, the court clerk told the alternate juror, a young woman in her 30s.

"I was like, 'Are you serious?' I couldn't believe it," she said in an interview. "I thought for sure they were going to vote not guilty because there was absolutely no proof that these men had done that." To the alternate juror, who wishes to remain anonymous, the guilty verdict was "incredible," even "insane."

"I was completely shocked by it," she said. "It was very hard for me. It was, however, an appropriate finish to her first experience of being a juror, which she described as "two weeks of insanity."

Was justice done in the case of Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero?

"No," she said. "I think it was a tragic miscarriage of justice."

The alternate juror interviewed Thursday night was the first of 12 regular jurors and six alternates to speak out publicly on the case in the seven weeks since the Jan. 30 verdict.

Let's hope it's the start of a trend.

It would help everyone's understanding if more jurors came forward to explain a verdict that not only shocked this alternate, but also just about every reporter who covered the case, as well as the former sex abuse victims and the many lawyers who visited the courtroom during the trial.

Whether you chose to believe Billy Doe or not, the verdict made no sense, because it was not supported by the evidence presented at trial.

The district attorney was surprised by the verdict; the lead prosecutor expected to lose.

For this alternate juror who chose to speak out, the verdict made no sense, she said, because "the prosecution was riddled full of reasonable doubt."

"The stories were so inconsistent," she said about the various versions of the sex abuse allegations made by the 24-year-old victim in the case known as "Billy Doe."

"What I couldn't get over was there was no consistencies about the story."

The details of the allegations kept changing every time Billy Doe told his story, the alternate juror noted. He told four different versions.

First, Billy Doe told his story to Louise Hagner, a social worker for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Then Billy was interviewed by Detective Andrew Snyder of the district attorney's office. Next, Billy Doe testified before the grand jury. Finally, Billy Doe testified to the jury in the Engelhardt-Shero case.

"Nothing was consistent," the alternate juror said. "Not what happened, not where it happened."

"There was so much 'I can't recall' from the witness, and we were supposed to say of course he can't recall?" she said. "I had a hard time buying wholesale what this witness had done."

Several times during the trial, defense lawyer Michael J. McGovern pointed out to the jury the presence of Billy Doe's civil attorney in the courtroom. McGovern usually described Billy Doe's civil attorney as the most interested spectator in the courtroom.

Then, on the witness stand during cross-examination, Billy Doe dropped a bombshell. He told an incredulous McGovern, a former prosecutor himself,  that it was the district attorney's office that hooked him up with the civil attorney, so that Billy Doe could sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for damages.

That had an effect on the alternate juror.

"There was nothing that made me believe that this was not financially motivated as well," she said.

While some people choose to believe that Billy Doe made it all up, the alternate juror said she could not conceive anyone would be evil enough to do such a thing.

In her mind, Billy Doe was a victim, she said, but she just didn't know of what.

"Something terrible happened to this young man," the alternate juror said. "Something damaged him to the point that he became a completely different person. But I can't believe these two men assaulted him. To me it didn't seem truthful that these guys did it. To me it was shocking to hear because they seemed like good people."

The alternate juror brings her own perspective to the case. She's an elementary school teacher, a mandated reporter of child sex abuse. So for her, that's where the problems started.

Both Father Charles Engelhardt and former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero had no history of sexually abusing children.

"Pedophilia is not just something that you just tried out," the alternate juror said. Child abusers usually have a history of abusing multiple victims. So where, she wanted to know, were the other victims.

Billy Doe's story was that back when he was a 10-year-old fifth grader, he was raped at St. Jerome's Church by two different priests, Father Engelhardt and Father Edward Avery. And that a year later, when he was an 11-year-old sixth grader, he was raped again by Shero, his sixth grade teacher.

It's an incredible story about a child being passed around from predator to predator while nobody notices anything.

It's a story that left even people in the district attorney's office divided. Some felt Billy Doe was telling the truth. Others, in the immortal words of Mike McGovern, became convinced that Billy Doe was a "lying sack of shit."

The alternate juror didn't know what to believe. But she does know what to look for when it comes to child abuse.

"We're taught the signs of child abuse, sex abuse," the alternate juror said. In the case of three rapes of a child, she said, you would think that either his parents -- a police officer and a nurse -- or his older brother -- an eighth grader at the same school -- or Billy's doctor, or one of the teachers at St. Jerome's would have seen something.

"I would hope that you would notice something," she said. "To have these terribly violent attacks and to not have someone notice anything at all seemed amazing to me."

In Father Engelhardt's case, the rape of Billy supposedly took place after Mass in a tiny church sacristy with four doors. A sacristy that, according to trial testimony, was a place traversed by priests, altar boys, sextons, nuns, the church pastor and parishioners, all passing through on their way to the church, the sanctuary, a storage room, and the only bathroom in the place. 

The prosecution claimed that Billy Doe was raped by two different priests inside the church after Mass, and nobody saw anything, and nobody heard anything. 

"To believe that no one would be around for that period of time," the alternate juror said about the alleged rape in the sacristy by Father Engelhardt. According to one of Billy's versions of the story, the rape went on for five hours. 

"That to me was outrageous, that no one would notice, no one would hear anything,"the alternate juror said.

The prosecution alleged that Father Avery raped Billy Doe after Mass in a closet outside the sacristy. 

Once again, the alternate juror found that story incredible.

"How is this happening, an attack on a fifth grader in a closet and nobody's noticing?" she asked.

In the case of Bernard Shero, according to Billy, that rape took place in broad daylight. Billy gave three different locations for the rape: in the classroom, or inside Shero's car that was parked in either a parking lot at an apartment building in Northeast Philadelphia, or a section of Pennypack Park known as a lover's lane. 

And once again, nobody saw anything, and nobody heard anything.

"He was assaulted in a classroom? That to me was completely unbelievable," the alternate juror said.  

As far as she was concerned, regarding the whole prosecution case, "It seemed like it was propped up on unbelievable facts."

The alternate juror was underwhelmed by the defense lawyers. She came to loathe the prosecutor. She was impressed by the judge. She felt sympathy for both defendants in the case, as well as for the alleged victim.

"He's a terribly troubled young man," she said of Billy Doe. But at the same time, he did not come across like a 24-year-old man.

"He didn’t strike me as mature as a 24 year old should be," she said. She recalled when Billy Doe was asked what he was doing now. He replied he was working for his uncle as a landscaper down in Florida. 

To the alternate juror, that was not something a 24-year-old would be doing; to her, it sounded more like a 16-year-old.

"Every answer seemed so convenient and so processed to me," she said. "It just didn’t feel genuine. It didn't feel like a young man trying to get right. It felt like a young kid trying to get out of trouble."

"I have kids lying to me every day," she said. "I felt like I was watching somebody trying to get out of trouble."

"He also wasn’t extremely emotional on the stand," she said. "It wasn’t like a moving story. It wasn't the heartbreaking story of a man who spiraled out of control because of this one event," she said. 

"That didn’t come across."

Not surprisingly, the alternate juror, herself a teacher, found the testimony of Billy Doe's former teachers to be credible. Especially when they testified about how only eighth grade boys were big and strong enough to be members of the bell choir maintenance crew.

The prosecution's story line was that 10 year-old fifth grader Billy Doe, four feet tall and 63 pounds, was lifting the 30-pound bells as a member of the bell choir maintenance crew. He was putting away the bells by himself and that's when Father Avery hit on him.

The alternate juror did not like the way the lead prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti, attacked Billy's former grade school teachers on cross-examination.

"I felt it was a vicious prosecution to start with," she said. "The prosecution was nasty to everybody who stepped up there."

As she took notes in a notebook, the alternate juror recalled feeling, "I'm going to find it super-frustrating" to watch the prosecutor "drag these women through the mud."

"I believed the teachers without a doubt," she said. "I've seen those giant bells."

Similarly, the alternate juror was alarmed by the prosecution's attack on Louise Hagner, the social worker from the archdiocese who took notes on what Billy told her.

"Louise Hagner, I felt terrible the whole time" the social worker was on the witness stand, the juror said. "I could only think this woman's just doing her job ... Watching her testify and how they treated her was terrible. It makes it sort of scary to be a social worker" if the prosecution is going to treat "every social worker who takes a statement" like they have "an agenda," she said.

The alternate juror found it incredible that Billy Doe remembered so many details of what he said and did moments before he got into a car occupied by two archdiocese social workers. 

He had just come back from the methadone clinic.

He remembered the social workers calling him on his cell phone and knocking on his door. He remembered his father telling him not to talk to the social workers. He remembered telling the social workers to drive down the street and wait a few minutes and he would come out and talk to them. He remembered that Hagner was from the archdiocese and she was taking notes. 

And then, almost magically, the moment after he got in the car, he could not remember anything he told Hagner because he was high on heroin.

"I think that was crazy," the alternate juror said. "I felt like he [Billy Doe] was filling holes with whatever he wanted [us] to believe. I'm supposed to believe that he can't remember anything? A [social worker] would know if he was so impaired that he wouldn't remember." 

"That to me that seemed very engineered," she said.

She did not hold it against either defendant that they didn't take the witness stand to testify.

"I can't imagine what kind of an ordeal that is to go through," she said. "Father Engelhardt seemed much more stoic to me ... Every time Bernard Shero cried, I almost cried myself."

"It was insane to watch people treated that way," she said. "It was crazy to watch this play out."

And then Father Avery showed up, fresh out of prison, to recant his guilty plea, and say he never touched Billy Doe. He just pleaded guilty because the prosecution gave him a sweetheart deal.

"Oh my God, that was the craziest day," she said. "It was both sad and like, what the hell is going on?"

She noticed Avery's "poorly fitting" prison outfit. And she couldn't believe that Cipolletti engaged Avery in an argument over whether he'd been defrocked or laicized.

"Are we really having a semantics issue?" the alternate juror recalled thinking. What difference does it make? Either way, Avery is still an ex-priest.

By this time, "I had already made up by mind that Cipolletti was a bully," she said. "This guy's a jerk. He's s so snotty he couldn’t talk  to anybody. I hope that I'm never up against D.A. Cipolletti because hes a snotty jerk."

Amazingly, the alternate juror believed the smiling padre was telling the truth. 

"I did believe him," she said. "I think for the same reason that I would take a plea if I was staring down the barrel of a gun."

The alternate juror praised the "no-nonsense" way Judge Ellen Ceisler presided over the trial, rebuking lawyers for "theatrics," and keeping the case on schedule, so that the people on the jury could get back to their normal lives.

"I thought she was a fabulous judge," she said.

She wasn't impressed by the defense attorneys. 

"McGovern, he was kind of like a cartoon," she said. "I could picture him as a D.A. with his little mustache," she said. "I think he's a much more intelligent and thoughtful man than he came off as."

McGovern represented Father Engelardt. Burton Rose, the lawyer who represented Bernard Shero, was obviously sick during the trial, and was always sneezing and blowing his nose.

"You almost wished for a more suave type," she said. "The case against Shero was the weakest." 

Even though personally, she found Shero to be "so creepy looking," she did not take Shero's suicide note as an admission of guilt.

"He had been so through so much and his family had been through so much," she said. "He was being paraded around. Who's to say the strongest among us wouldn’t have done the same thing? He was so embarrassed for his family."

"He wasn’t writing that to explain the away the problem," she said. "He was thanking his family for being so amazing and saying, I don’t want to put you through it. It was a letter to his family about what was going to happen next. It wasn't about what was happening now."

What was the juror's takeaway from her first brush with the criminal justice system?

"Innocent until proven guilty," she said. But, "that's not the case if you're a Catholic priest."

The woman who is not a Catholic said there has been so much publicity over the sex scandals in the Catholic church that "priests are assumed to be guilty immediately." 

In this Lenten season, if any more jurors care to unburden themselves, Ralph Cipriano can be reached at ralph@bigtrial.net. Anonymity is available; a sympathetic ear guaranteed.


219 comments:

  1. Ralph - great work! Now, that makes 2 of the alternates who expressed their disbelief. 'Insanity' is probably a good description.

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  2. Ralph - another great article. Hopefully leads to more jurors in this mock of a fair and just trial to come out and voice their opinion. Know it is only one interview but shows that case was not by a jury of the defendants peers. Those jurors that deliberated over the case took advantage of the justice system - more like a 3 week vacation for them.

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  3. Am I missing something here like the name of the alternate juror?

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    1. She has a name. So does Billy Doe.

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    2. I never doubted she has a name Ralph.

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  4. If this alternate juror who's supportive of the defendants has to remain anonymous, how do you expect any of the others to step forward? How do we know this alternate wasn't paid by the admittedly corrupt and document-shredding AOP to make these statements? There is an appeals process. That's how it works in America. And the appellate judge will not countenance any of this disregard for the law and the jury system developed over the course of centuries.

    I still don't understand what the premise is here. Are you saying that all 24 jurors in 2 trials were viciously anti-Catholic, or are you saying that all 24-jurors were paid off?

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    1. Wow, now that's a great conspiracy theory. I am impressed.

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    2. No one got paid off. Understand the media coverage of the allegations of sexual abuse by priests poisoned the city population base and this is what we have to draw upon for jurors. We do not tell people how to do their job when they are jurors lest we give them the impression that their duty is that a government duty to find the defendants guilty like they do in Russia and China. We trust that people named to a jury will give their best thought and action. Most do and the feedback from committed jurors is as fantastic as the spiel of lawyers during a trial. Some do not and by ignorance or spite, choose to find defendants guilty. Being chosen to sit on a jury is a solemn duty to all Americans and it does behoove one to give no lesser than his or her very best.

      Yes, there is an appeals process. Is it fair? Depends on the judge hearing it and the gravity of the charges against you. A good judge would ignore the prevailing winds againswt the defendant and take the time to scrutinize the appeal to make a thoughtful decision in his or her deliberations. Are all judges like that? Some are and some are not. A judge can be burned out/zoned out like veteran prosecutors and defense attorneys and that is human.

      Msgr Lynn is facing close to a year spent in state prison. Bail was denied him after conviction and he was thrown in jail. He was convicted on questionable evidence and that is of a piling on nature as far as it is concerned. Lynn is entitled to bail until the appeals process has run out and he has to go to jail. DA and abuse advocates wanted somebody to sit in jail for dozens of abuse cases never tried for decades and they got their man.

      This alternate has a very interesting perspective on the trial as she was there until her services were no longer required. Why would the AOP pay her off to say something in favor of the innocent priest and teacher as they do now know her name or where she lives?

      It would have been better for the two to have been acquitted by a jury that took the time to evaluate the evidence and put in the work to make a good decision that to have to start an appeals procedure that will take years and may or may not result in the defendants being acquitted of the crimes.

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    3. @ James, right on the money my friend.

      Speaking of appeals, take a look at Monsignor Lynn’s:
      http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/AppellateCourtReport.ashx?docketNumber=2171%20EDA%202012

      His appeal was filed on 8/10/12, and the lower court’s ‘Trial Record and Opinion’ was due to the Superior Court on 10/9/12. Nothing happened!

      On January, 14, 2013, Lynn’s attorney wrote a Motion to Compel to the Superior Court, requesting that the trial judge send the long overdue material. On 2/5/13, the Superior Court responded by ‘compelling’ the lower court to send the material ‘forthwith’.

      Finally, 4 sealed boxes of material arrived on 3/7/13.

      Where I worked in Corporate America, ‘forthwith’ always meant:

      - ‘right away’,
      - ‘immediately’,
      - ' shake a leg',
      - ‘do whatever you have to do’,
      - ‘drop everything’,
      - ‘work your lunch hours’, etc.

      So, here we have almost 6 months needlessly wasted on this phase of the appeal while Monsignor Lynn remains imprisoned.

      Is this Justice?

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    4. "And the appellate judge will not countenance any of this disregard for the law and the jury system developed over the course of centuries?"

      So you reject an infallible Pope, but to you the jury system is infallible?

      Here's my premise: I reported on what one of the alternate jurors had to say, period. As far as being viciously anti-Catholic, you seem to qualify.

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    5. Whoa Nelly,
      Sarah rejected the Pope? (I never saw where she did but...)

      Quick let's crucify her. Get the wood.

      Again what in the name of God does Catholicism: the Religion as taught in the Apostles Creed, have to do with sexual abuse of children??????? NOTHING!

      It's the very guilty prelates, who passed perps from parish to parish, who now attempt to cover up again! screaming, Anti Catholic! Anti Catholic! And now "viciously anti Catholic"??????

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  5. I believe you or your juror made a statement regarding Engelhardt and Shero had no history of sexual abuse. Are you sure that is true ?

    Was it not fact, that Shero was spoken to by one school superior regarding boundary issues with children ?

    Then was it not reported by you that a mother believed children were in fear of Bernard Shero ? "Mom told the jury that throwing rocks at Shero's house was one way for the kids to get rid of somebody they
    were afraid of."

    Then there is report on a question the DA asked to Lyman about Father Engelhardt's reputation in the community.

    That was then quoted Lyman as saying ""He has a horrible reputation,"


    Also are you not the reporter who reported " According to two sources, however, the prosecution had asked the judge if Lyman could testify about an incident where his priest cousin had allegedly attempted to have sex with him ?










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    1. Every thing you mention has been reported on this blog. If the DA had access to other victims of sex abuse, do you think we would have heard from those people during the trial?

      Last time I checked Lyman was an adult.

      It must be tough when you have one world view to fit all contrary information into that one world view, but I have no doubt you will be able to pull it off.

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    2. And where were the other alleged victims of the abuse by the priest and teacher? DA could not find them? And the smell of money from the AOP not tempting enough?

      There were no victims of abuse by the priest and teacher. The smell of money did not draw other people with character like Billy Doe who loved to spin fabricated tales of abuse to anyone who will listen to him. It is not worth it to come to court to perjure yourself for a few bucks but that does not even cause Billy Doe to stop and think of what he was causing by his false testimony. THe sole person who claimed to be abused was Billy Doe and he is seeking a well paid endowment from the AOP to support himself and his girlfriend in Florida.

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    3. Ralph - I believe you like to project yourself being knowledgeable on how an abuse victim should behave after there assault.

      But the answer to your above question is not necessarily.The DA office might know of other victims, and they may have gone out to speak with those individuals or the parents of those individuals and they may have told the DA office they do not wish to get involved, and that is not because of Engelhardt or Shero being innocent or guilty. Its the thought if I do not talk about the horrific event they went through or what their child went through it would all just go away.

      Then after reading your last comment you left and comments you left for others it clearly shows you get PO'd when what you write or what you post gets challenged.

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    4. Dennis - you re one angry and distraught SOB. Your hatred for the church and all those that wear a white collar is evident. What you can not come to grips with is that an injustice was done to these men. Their hard work and dedication to their respective professions has been destroyed all on the lies of one man who is only unit for the money. Your like a little gnat that hangs around buzzing in our ears. Trying to push people into an argument as I see it for your enjoyment only. I question whether you believe billy Doe's stories at this point or do not have the strength or guts to retract all you have written over the last few months. Ralph has done a great job of bringing out exactly what is wrong in the city of Philadelphia, the DA's office and most importantly the court system. He should be applauded and not have to listen to your BS every day.

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    5. Dennis Ecker not only are you a victim/survivor but you are a really smart guy.
      There's too much attack in response to you, for this "debate" to be considered a "normal" difference of opinion.
      The public is being sold something here;and it's being sold at your expense.
      Don't let them drain you. You're doing a great job.

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  6. I only wanted to make sure I said it right.


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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. I can tell you as a family friend of the Lyman's and growing up very close to them and still living in the parish that I don't even know how he can say Fr. Engelhardt had a horrible reputation in the parish, he never even lived there when Fr. Engelhardt was in St. Jerome's. He may have stayed with his family that lived in the parish once in awhile when he was between rehabs. I've seen Father Engelhardt in Lyman family's house more than Lyman himself.

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    3. I can only tell you I graduated from that hell hole back in 1980 and I do not recall the name. I was to busy trying not to fall apart, since that is the hell where I suffered my abuse. (Book Store & Rectory)

      Are you telling me something he may have done 33 years ago, or are you making your statement as current fact ?

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    4. What hell hole are you referring to? St. Jerome's?

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    5. JUDGE. I was abused before my freshman year ever started. 4yrs. of pure hell of memories. I don't know how the school is now, but when i went to the cafeteria for lunch I had to pass that damn book store.

      Sorry, did not mean to bend your ear, it is good to get it out once in awhile.

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    6. Dennis, I am sorry you had to endure that pain. No one deserves that. If that was the case here, we would feel sorry for the victim in the case as well. Unfortunately, with his stories, he is unbelievable. I am guessing, as you said, the thought of that bookstore brings back awful memories, but you can remember every single detail of the abuse. Then there is this victim, who has said numerous different stories and can't seem to remember every detail. If these alledged rapes.... Went on, he would certainly remember every detail and would have told the grand jury, detectives, the aop rep the same story. Sorry, but he is no victim and none of his stories are credible.

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  7. Dennis: I neglected to add this point, as she so clearly stated in this article, A person is presumed Innocent until proven guilty, but that's not the case if you're a catholic priest.
    That kind of sums up the reason this jury did what it did, ignore the truth and convict the innocent.

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  8. I did not bring up any question to the guilt or innocense in the above comment. I only brought to attention the comment this believable juror made regarding the lack of sexual abuse history of Shero or Engelhardt.

    The comments above I give full credit to Ralph Cipriano. If you have any questions regarding them you may want to speak with him.

    Although his words do make you wonder.

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  9. The media has an obligation to press the DA's office regarding proper code of ethics and conflict of interest in these very public cases. Careers are advancing on the destroyed lives of these innocent men and their families. Not only are Shero, Lynn, and Englehardt suffering, but how helpless their families must be.
    Shero's letter was so sad. . . thanking his parents for being there with him during his difficult life, his despair in his recognition that there would not be a fair trial. The fact that he knows his parents will suffer terribly by his imprisonment and court proceedings.
    Imagine the difficult life he must have had. . then making peanuts as a Catholic school teacher only to bring this. . .and not having the money for the best legal representation.
    Father Englehardt and Monsignor Lynn -----the real victims of these cases! Their suffering started long ago with the grand jury report.
    Imagine being someone in their family, wondering about how they are doing in jail. Knowing they are innocent.
    So sad. I can't believe this type of persecution exists in 2013.

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    1. @anonymous 8:27

      Yup! I doubt the Philadelphia media, most especially the Inquirer will consider rising to this quest unless, of course, it will sell more newspapers. That's why Ralph's excellent blog.....and those like it across the country.....are so absolutely vital.

      If I had the money, I'd post a messaage like 'CLERGY SEX ABUSE INSIDE STORY? - CHECK OUT WWW.BIGTRIAL.NET (or something similar) on one or more of the electronic 'billboards' visible from Route 95. Philadelphians have a right to know how their real estate and wage tax dollars are being misspent.

      So Ralph - keep fighting the 'good fight'. Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before the prosecution's political aspirants hear the admonition - 'sic transit gloria mundi' - blaring loud and clear out of their PA system.

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  10. Ralph,
    Incredible job. I commend you for speaking with an alternate juror. The gauntlet was thrown down and you answered with vigor.

    Specific question to Ralph, I have not read much about the judge and I have limited experience with a typical courtroom, did the judge confuse the jurors with her instructions?

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    1. Phils, I wasn't there for the jury instructions; at the time, was trying to report the verdict. So I have no idea whether the judge's instructions were confusing. Perhaps some jurors will tell us that.

      Archie, thanks for your kind words. Wish the rest of the media would start reporting on this. We've got the sentencing coming up April 18th. Until then, this blog continues to be "the voice of one crying in the wilderness."

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  11. Go, Ralph, go! You are doing a great job of telling the "back story." There is no other source for this valuable information.

    The blog is compelling. It continues to fascinate! Thank you for all your hard work!

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  12. This blog is fascinating. It is a treat to read some real reporting for a change. Thanks. Most of the media just reports anything the DA says as gospel. (It makes me wonder what other distortions were in the DA's grand jury reports.)

    It would be great to hear the perspective of one of the jurors who was in on the deliberations. Something odd must have gone on. (If you are out there, please contact Mr. Cipriano.)

    Finally, does anyone know what options there might be for correcting this verdict? Can the judge throw out the jury's verdict? What grounds could there be for an appeal?

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  13. The title of this latest piece speaks volumes about the absoulte innocence of these 2 men. This juror listened to the same testimony as everyone else in that courtroom and she definitely has very strong and well thought out opinions on many aspects of this trial that should have resulted in an acquittal for both defendants. And she didn't touch on all of the conflicting testimony.

    Hopefully this entire trial as well as the grand jury proceeding will be fully investigated. To answer the question above, it appears that unless specifically prohibited by PA law, the presiding judge has a great deal of latitude with regard to the sentencing including setting aside these verdicts. What happened in that courtroom was a travesty of justice.

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    1. The judge that will issue the sentence on April 18th is not Judge Sarmina and yes, she does have a great deal of latitude. A person like Sarmina would sentence both to decades in prison without any chance of parole unless they are carried away in body bags. Judge Ceisler could sentence both to a term of three years in prison and then the attorneys will start filing their appeals. For her to set aside the verdicts would only unleash a media firestorm with gasoline poured on the fire by church abuse advocates.

      How both men will do will depend on the veracity of their appeals filed by attorneys and that they get good judges who will put their hearts into analyzing and responding appropriately to the appeals. Hopefully an appellate court will note the conduct of the DA who proceeded with the case against the good advice of many o f his ADA's who had doubt about the veracity of Billy Doe and set aside the verdicts or even order new trials to be held outside Philadelphia to sort out matters. The quality of the evidence used to convict is highly suspect as it goes against testimonial evidence proferred by school teachers and other interested persons on the witness stand. Some evidence does not make sense such as the allegation about Billy Doe getting raped in the sacrisy when there is plenty of traffic that flows in and out or the allegation that Shero anally sodomized Billy Doe for five hours at Pennypack Park.

      The fact that a jury found both defendants guilty and apparently has not commented as to how and why they arrived at that kind of a verdict is very telling. You will have to think if the media coverage of the church abuse tainted the potential jury pool that a composite jury was selected from a pool and both prosecutors and defense attorneys believed that they had the best and fair people chosen only to be shocked at the results of the verdict.

      As a devil's advocate, Ceisler could impose a very short term that would outlast an appellate verdict as both serve out their terms and are promptly released. Even if the verdicts are overturned, they will be vindicated and "victim" Billy Doe and victims of past child abuse will feel some measure of justice that someone at least was sent to jail.

      Better could have been expected from the DA. Better could have been expected from the media and better could have been expected from the jury that heard the case. In the end, Billy Doe will get his silver coins like Judas got and not be any happier knowing full well the devastating effects of his fabrications that put four people in prison.

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    2. James,

      Ask yourself this question: Why did the DA’s office even bother to send Detectives Walsh and Snyder out to interview Donna Clopp, Mary Fischetti, Peggy Long, Billy’s older brother, Chanee Mahoney and Mark Bebsen well after the Grand Jury Report had been issued and Avery, Lynn, Engelhardt and Shero had been arrested.

      Did the prosecution just want to bolster their case, or was it perhaps because some staffers felt uneasy and just needed some investigative reassuring? Whatever the reason, their findings apparently didn’t make a rat’s ear of a difference because the indictments stood and the Grand Jury Report was never redacted.

      The caption at the top of the DA’s website states: “The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office provides a voice for victims of crime and protects the community through zealous, ethical and effective investigations and prosecutions.”

      All are invited to draw their own conclusions.

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    3. Not always. Not every DA is like the caption at the top of the DA's website. Most are, but some are not. Most will seek justice, but some will try to win the case at all costs like it was a basketball game. Egos can be driven to win at all costs.

      Any good wannabe lawyer can draw up a detailed plan of attack to exaggerate and illustrate impact in order to get a conviction. Given the media atmosphere in the church abuse case, very difficult for an accused priest to be tried by an impartial jury which is near impossible to find in Philadelphia.

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  14. Does anyone know if the judge is forced by law to see that these individuals must serve a certain amount of time in prison for the crimes
    they have been found guilty of ? If you do can you please tell us what that minimum amount of time these individuals must serve. Also can you confirm the max. amount of time ? I heard 50 yrs. for Shero and 37yrs. for Engelhardt. I don't know that is why I am asking.

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    1. A judge can be creative in creating a sentence. Some judges will sentence a predator to decades in prison while trumpeting the fact that society is being protected from him. While others will be creative and sentence an offender to work release with restrictions on where he or she can go when leaving work which frees prison space for those convicted of more serious offenses. Not all judges are the same. A shoplifter stealing a $1 article could be sentenced to prison at cost of thousands paid by taxpayers.

      Sentencing a priest to one year in prison while knowing full well the priest will appeal the conviction has its benefits. One, the victims will see the priest having served some time in prison before the conviction is overturned on appeal on grounds of the veracity of the evidence used to convict. The priest will be released before his case is heard on appeal and if the case is adjudicated in his favor, he cannot do anything to get back the time spent in prison. He can do all he can do to proclaim his innocence but will never be able to retract the time spent in prison.

      That is why the DA and abuse advocates were so determined to get Msgr Lynn to spend time in prison before the appeals court reversed the conviction. They wanted abuse victims to have a measure of justice applied against Lynn for the crimes allegedly said to have been committed by others.

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    2. James - Thank you.

      Two more questions:

      #1 - Who oversees the prosecutors to ensure that they are - in fact - acting with integrity and in the best interests of the people they've sworn to serve?

      #2 - What recourse would a defendant who was wrongfully convicted / imprisoned have should it be proven that the the judicial process from the Grand Jury investigation onward was flawed?

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  15. #3-w at recourse is there to disparage the testimony of a lying witness/witnesses to the Grand Jury from the get go? Can there be a Grand Jury to reign in the false testimony? This is beyond outrageous...

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  16. Let's start going through all the court records and try to over turn other cases we don't agree with. Is Big Trial funded by Catholic League which is funded by many large diocese? Just curious.

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    1. A very fair question to ask Ralph if Bill Donahue and his followers are involved with this blog.

      Some other fair questions would be if Ralph sought this juror out ? Did this juror seek Ralph out, how and when ? Did this juror receive any compensation or promises for giving her statement by either Ralph, the Beasley Firm, or anyone associated with this blog ?

      Also why is this individual being kept secret ? This only brings doubt that the statement here is "MADE UP"

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    2. I would say she is being kept secret because of People like you Dennis. So what your saying is that she made this story up. So we shouldn't believe a teacher who does her civic duty and comes to the court house for two weeks. Gives up her own free time because it's her turn for jury duty. But you'll believe some junkie who tells tale tales. That's good reasoning. This person has a right to remain anonymous. Just like Billy Doe does. So do the 12 jurors. I'm sure at least one of them are reading this blog. They are just too scared to step up and do the right thing, because of people like you.

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    3. I am questioning if "SHE" actually exists. Remember this is the same reporter who posted a statement from an attorney regarding what a mysterious District Attorney had made without being able to back it up even if he feels if he has to or not. Billy Doe was not a imaginary individual. I could care less if any jury members comes forward, as far as I am concerned they did their civic duty, they did it well, and the city is safer because of them.

      I am not the one who feels the jury has to come forward to define to the public, the families of either Engelhardt and Shero or anyone else for the reason why they handed down a guilty verdict. In fact, i truly believe the jury should continue on with their lives and not look back, because I am not the one who has placed comments on this blog who would be more than willing to place personal information on this blog if he felt what he was being told was a lie. Fact also is that individual had a comment removed for that reason.

      Now my message to any juror member who maybe reading: I am very proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself. I can only say think twice before coming forward, there are those who do not agree on what you decided.



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    4. Dennis, obviously you are worried that the facts presented on this blog are going against your cause. You are becoming increasingly desperate in the wild charges you are making.

      The juror's comments have the ring of truth to them; Billy Doe's testimony does not. You are so blind you can't see the difference.




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    5. What facts am I worried about ? This is only an interview you conducted to get someone's opinion, and may I say again one opinion out of 12 jury members and alternates.

      I am trying to find out if this so called interview happened because this person came to you or if you sought her out and compensated her for her statement. WHY HAVE YOU FAILED TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS ?

      I can hear you cursing at me, and smell your sweat all the way over here !!!

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    6. I believe Dennis's questions are as valid as anyone else's who post here. And that he deserves the courtesy and respect any person should expect in an open and honest forum.

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    7. Are you Dennis' Mom??? He asked that of someone else and Dennis is really rude to people. Just one example below 3/24 at 8:43-calling names like "coward" and snide remarks like "no original thought". I can go through his comments and find just about every one that is rude or ignorant. IF you are his Mom or keeper, please tell him he has to earn respect and that he acts like a big baby...

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    8. No Josie I'm your Mom. Now, shut up and go to bed.

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  17. Axel Foley, Bravo!

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    1. Yet again another coward who hides behind a false title with no original thought in their head. You or better yet your family must be so proud of you !!!

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    2. Dennis,
      Are you in counseling???? My friend, you need serious help! Please see a psychiatrist soon! As long as your DISRESPECT people here, they will NOT respect you! You are the COWARD since you find it necessary to attack others on their views! Please seek help!

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  18. Dennis - Ralph is a journalist, and it's a journalist's prerogative to safeguard his sources.

    It's just that simple - no mystery, no drama.

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  19. Dennis: let me see, an intelligent well spoken educated woman is now being attacked by you because she didn't identify herself when she provided her well based opinion on this illogical verdict.

    How many drug addicts do you know are honest, law abiding citizens. NONE of course, but based on your narrow viewpoint, Billy Doe's the salt of the earth. In the past 14 years, can you say he's never lied, never stole from family and friends and never sold drugs to feed his habit ( 56 bags he testified, all for personal use" How many homes might he have burglarizd in order to get the money to feed his habit all those years. Oh by the way Billy Doe has as many aliases on his court docket (pending case in Philadelphia) as the number of different stories he told to Louise Hagner, Detective Snyder, the grand jury and in Judge Ceisler's courtroom involving Father Engelhardt. Actually, he might have told four different versions but those 12 jurors apparently couldn't count that high Oh those drugs and hallugenics, look what they do to a person.....they cause convenient memory lapse..

    And as for the compensation you mentioned above relative to this juror that has honestly spoken out on this injustice, you conveniently overlooked that pending lawsuit Billy Doe has going on with the civil attorney who was apparently recommended by the DA's office (Billy Doe's own words on the stand) Might that be against proper ethical standards However, in the case of the DA's office in this city, ethics and accountability went out the window in this case a long time ago...

    To reiterate what was said above, Frs. Lynn and Engelhardt and most likely Bernard Shero are paying for what the archdiocese failed to do decades ago, they are for all intents and purposes, "Collateral Damage". This entire case was railroaded thru, with one single purpose, to put these innocent men in jail, no matter how that was accomplished....

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    1. And here is where Jim will come to Dennis' defense and tell him what a great job he is doing. Both ignoring the facts of the case and continuing to believe in an addict who has skated through life so far on his father's and uncle's connections. All while continuing to live in Florida and choose when he will show up for court for his criminal cases (as a defendant too) when it is convenient for him. Convenient or when he is between rehab facilities.

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    2. Anonymous 10:14

      To paraphrase a well known judge.....anyone who believes that the DA's office hasn't given Billy partial treatment must be from another planet. I don't understand how he can just keep postponing court appearances 'ad nauseam' without any dire consequences. This is tantamount casually thumbing one's nose at the judicial system.

      Can anyone here who is familiar with American Jurisprudence explain this??

      Is the DA's office paying for these therapy sessions? Anyone care to hazard a guess?

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    3. And why would you write such a thing ? Do you feel threatened ? I have never met the man, but I do know if I need to vent I know he would be there to listen, and vice o versa.

      You are barking up the wrong tree. But again that is why you call yourself Anonymous. You should change it to COWARD or NANCY it fits your character better.

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    4. Let's calm this shit down.
      I think Dennis can ask any question he want's to ask period.
      I feel the same for any one else here.
      Why all the personal attacks? Who gave you permission to attack a victim or anyone because they ask questions or disagree with you?
      Too much unneeded bitterness for a normal dialog.
      Let's back up to a more mutually respectful place.

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  20. Anyone can make up a story and say that someone anonymous said it. If this alternate juror got with Ralph in order to call the verdicts into question, she needs to put her name on it. Short of that, her agenda needs to be questioned just like everyone else's agenda here is being questioned. This is just another anonymous tip being portrayed as fact. Much like the anonymous guy in the DA's office who McGovern said told him this and that. It doesn't mean anything. Just another rumor based on hearsay.

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    1. Move along; nothing to see here. Sarah already has her mind made up.

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    2. STX2---I read most of your comments and frankly, you have no clue about Philadelphians or the Church or the Philadelphia Church or the players in the recent trials. All you do is try to comment(from Texas?) without knowing anything. You are just another run of the mill narrow minded anti-Catholic/anti-clergy commenter with nothing else to do. Boring...

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  21. Dennis,

    Why are you worried about Bill Donahue being involved with this blog? I met him, only once, and was so impressed with him, his message, and his faith. What would make you think, though, that he has anything to do with Ralph's reporting? It just seems incongruous to me. And, a very weird thing for YOU to be worried about!

    Dennis, we are now in the Holiest Week of the Church Year. Today we heard the Passion, and the accounts of Judas betraying Jesus, and Peter denying Him.

    Also in the news today: Pope Francis will hold Holy Thursday Mass at a Juvenlile Prison instead of the Vatican, as it has always been done.

    It's time for us to wash each other's feet. Really. God bless you, Dennis. I pray for the victims of abuse every day, too. I cannot imagine a worse crime. Stay with us, pray with us, be with us during Holy Week, and forever. Please don't suffer anymore, you are loved.

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    1. Thank You Archie. Would never turn down prayers from anyone,unless it is those prayers to drop dead.

      Bill Donahue, I don't know if your old enough to remember the name Jim Jones. That is the first person who I would compare him to. Next would be that guy from Waco Texas, and his strongest followers i compare to suicide bombers. Now that is my opinion. Now if stereotypes hold true this is one guy in my opinion who will be found with _______ or________. I will let you fill in the blanks.

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    2. Hi Dennis,

      I've been making a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament every Monday. And while I pray for justice for my priest friends, I also include all those who have suffered any form of sexual abuse. I'll put your intentions on the list tomorrow. I promise.

      My wife and I have 3 grown children and 3 promising grandsons, and I can't even begin to tell you how devastated we both would feel if someone molested them. I don't even want to conjecture.

      Joe

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    3. Joe, Thank You.

      If I can share a moment with you real quick. The best protection your grandsons have is their parents and you. It is no longer the day when priests, policeman and firefighters deserve the respect they received when we were kids.Everyone must earn our respect. We grew up in neighborhoods were neighbors watched out for each other. When our milk came to the house in glass bottles. Those days are gone.

      We are now in the age we must teach our kids they are to trust no one until they earn that trust. When we teach our kids how to throw or hit a ball, we are also teaching them to escape or defend themselves against someone.

      There is those who doubt I was abused, but that's O.K. I don't have to prove it to anyone anymore, I had to do that many years ago. But,what Billy has done and the way he reacted is normal, and know one will ever understand that unless they have been abused. If I can leave you with one thought every parent or grandparent should have is please do not think this will never happen to your kids or your grandkids. Because everytime they walk out that front door to play makes them prey to very smart predators.

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    4. Dennis, no one is trying to take away what you went through when abused. In those old days, sexual abuse was there in addition to unlocked doors, neighbors watching after each other, children were taught to respect the policeman, fireman, teacher and priest. Respect has powerful undertones as to never question their credibility. Problem is with this line of thinking was the fallacy of according total trust into someone who can make a mistake or grievous error of judgment.

      Ozzie and Harriet played the golden years of family in the 1950's when Mom stayed home and Dad went to work and came home. Even if Dad had to go on a business trip, he stayed in his hotel room to call his family even though there was no ESPN and color TV. Was that reality speaks? No, as we did have Dads go to strip clubs and consort with women other than their wives. That happened in the 1950's as well as it does today.

      Problem in this particular church abuse case is the false testimony uttered by Billy Doe, an admitted heroin addict who cannot keep his stories straight. Even worse is the unprofessional conduct of the DA and ADA's prosecuting this case while ignoring the glaring omissions prevalent in Billy Doe's case which made other ADA's uncomfortable with the path the agency has chosen to go through. It shows the lack of doing your homework properly by taking the time to check things out to make sure they make sense before spending the public dime on an expensive trial that may be tanked at the appellate phrase. They took a chance and exhaled in relief when the jury convicted both on most of the counts. That is why many people have questions about the veracity of the evidence used to convict.

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    5. Billy Donahue is to be worried about because Billy Donahue is paid $400,000 a year to put out what ever the hierarchs want put out to the world.
      Anti Catholic Anti Religion blah blah blah all to mask secular crimes against children who happened to be their fellow Catholics.
      Absolute insanity pushed by Donahue always connecting religion to sex abuse.
      This all could have been solved so simply. Own up. Accept the guilt. Compensate the victims but no let's turn it into an attack on religion; circle the wagons around the criminals and pretend, honestly!, that the criminals ARE the Church.
      So the people in the pews could pretend they were being victimized by the abused children!!! Extraordinary!!!
      That's Dolan and George and Mahoney and Donahue: the Rockettes of fake victimization.

      Delete
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    2. Dennis,

      You have questioned everyone's validity and agenda in this case except for Billy Doe. He is as suspect as any of your conspiracy theories.

      Like a doctor / patient confidentiality agreement, an author, specifically an investigative journalists, has a duty to keep his subject's wishes to stay anonymous if they request it. It happens all the time in the political and sports world with articles that have unknown sources. Maybe one day they will come forward in name, but until then I don't see any agenda out of this alternate juror. She was there and has an occupation to back up her point of view. If she did want fortune and fame, she could have sought out any media outlet considering the press she could have got locally and nationally.

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  24. Dennis, you are wasting everyone's time. No one fears you; the only thing we fear is listening to more of your drivel about Donohoe and the Catholic League, and paying off anonymous jurors, and your precious sainted victimhood that you cling to so tenaciously.

    You have posted more comments on this blog than anybody else. Everyone knows what you think.

    Take a breather.

    You're a waste of time.

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    2. AMEN RALPH TY!

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    3. This is unbelievable. If you didn't have Dennis and SarahTX and one intelligent anonymous posting here you'd have no debate.
      I'm no longer a Catholic but i can see the "faithful" have lined up here.
      How about not editing Dennis, Ralph?
      I think just as we have a right to read your's or any bodyelse's view here we have a right to read Dennis's.
      Dennis is no "waste of time".
      Dennis is a victim with a point of view,
      Playing dictator, by shutting Dennis up, serves what purpose Ralph?

      Delete
    4. There are no sacred rights granted to a person when he becomes a "victim," Jim. Sorry, don't buy into that.

      But if you believe a reporter who's been around a while, at formerly reputable newspapers like the Inquirer and LA Times, is taking money from Catholic sources and paying jurors to talk, I suggest you find another site to visit. If you truly believe what we're doing here is that corrupt, why bother to stick around?

      You can debate what's printed here, but if you're going to make ridiculous and totally unfounded accusations, when you get around to doing it for the 50th time, and you start dragging people's mothers into it, there may be repercussions. Such as I exercise my God-given right to say enough already.

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    8. I have written myself for the L.A. Weekly. I know being a reporter has no sacred rights , more like sacred duties.
      Ralph I have no idea why all the effort is being made by you, here to re try this case or to keep this rather futile debate alive.That's what appelate courts are for. Why not organize a relief fund and demonstrations for the people you feel wrongly convicted?
      You of course can do as you will.
      Ignore Dennis or mine (you already have re the SNAP fraud) or anybodies posts you wish but let the readers decide, please, as to whose telling the truth.

      Delete
  25. I agree. Your trying to bully everyone. Just because you were abused you automatically take the side of billy dope. When the defendants win their appeal it will be devastating for the "real" victims like yourself, from a legal standpoint. Just admit when your wrong, no one will be mad at you.

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  28. Dennis,
    I applaud you for your statement above. YOU should not be ashamed, but so many sexual abuse victims are. It must be extremely hard to admit and I can understand that. Maybe your comment will help someone out - someone that has been holding it in for a very long time and has let it ruin their life so far. I truly hope that happens. One question I have is why is it so hard for some people to see the strong connection between sexual abuse and addiction? Is it really that hard to understand? smh...

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    1. Is this Dennis' mom?

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    2. Of course there is a connection. But when you start selling heroin, and become a drug dealer, it's now at another level. You are a danger to your community. Do you think that was the first time Bily doe was picking up more than 50 bags of heroin and he just happen to get caught? Gimmie a break.

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    1. I almost wish you had a better argument than "12 jurors found the defendants guilty"(Sarah as well) Are you that naive to think that one or two of those jurors didn't have an agenda and tainted the jury with their thoughts. Peoples minds are easily swayed. And these grand jury reports can be looked up on-line. Is It so hard to believe that some of these jurors already had their mind made up. The storyline has now changed. The trial is over. We all know that. Ralph is now reporting on whether or not two innocent men are in jail. This isn't the "Dennis Show".

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    2. People's minds are not, are absolutely NOT "Easily Swayed"
      Repetition has the tendency, advertising for example
      , I think , to color an argument if it seems rational and is repeated long enough. But all people including all jurors have their own individual take on things.
      What the hell are you going to talk about if Dennis shuts up it's just going to be back slapping on your side.
      By the way, why so many Catholics? Percentile wise, you are putting on quite a show here I hope your supporting the people you believe in. Those found guilty in this trial.

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    3. So what if 10 jurors have their mind made, and 2 jurors are on the fence? Your telling me that their vote could not be swayed by the other 10. Obviously the people posting on this blog are type "A" personalities. But the fact of the matter is that most people are not. You are giving people much more credit than they deserve.

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    4. Have you ever been called to jury duty? Do you know how hard it is to be seated on one? All the questions asked of a prospective juror?

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    5. That would be an excellent reason for a lawyer to pick a juror. No? Of course they would want to pick a juror that they feel is going to lean their way. But if your out of jurors who you think are on your side, one who seems a little unsure of themselves is better than not. And no I have not been on a jury.

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    6. I just went 2 weeks ago and believe me, It's not a simple process.

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    7. I have served on jury duty. It was a drug deal case. There was a ton of evidence. Even though we unanimously thought the dealer was guilty, there was doubt so we unanimously had to give the verdict of "not guilty." The judge came and spoke to us (the jury) afterwards and asked how we came up with the verdict. He agreed with us how we found doubt yet shared with us that the same dealer was being tried for dealing again with a new jury for a drug deal that occurred at a later date. I was fascinated how the narcotics police
      Officer was treated as though he was on trial and not the actual drug dealer. I found it similar to the way the social worker Hagner was treated on the stand. I can only hope that The Honorable Judge C. asked the jury in this case how they reached their verdict due to the many different versions of BD stories and the lack of evidence.

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    8. Good for you Jim. I never said it was an easy process. None the less, it is still a process and the lawyers still have a say in who they pick. If I'm wrong about that someone please correct me.

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  30. No. Just someone that cares deeply about childhood sexual abuse.

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    1. Do you care about people being falsely accused of abuse by a career criminal, pass lie detectors administered by the DA, testify for the grand jury in their own defense. Then have a DA unethically proceed with a case and investigation, prosecutors act like every defense witness was on trial, create a rogue jury, and put innocent men in jail? Do you care about the actual facts of this case, from the beginning, through the trial, and on this blog? Do you care for the families of these innocent men who are going through hell right now?

      Or do you just care about a person who has been arrested 6+ times, for theft, weapons, drug possession and drug dealing. A kid who was kicked out of 2 high schools for drugs and weapons. A kid who was a trouble maker. A kid who started drinking and using drugs at 14. A kid who got in trouble big time for 56 bags of heroin and to get out of it says he was abused, but then is so dumb, makes up 4 different documented versions about what happened. None of which could have happened given the actual facts and testimony of the trial. His own brother and mother have documents that state this did not happen.

      Do you care deeply about any of that or like others, believe everything Billy has said...

      A complete injustice.

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  31. I'm keeping somebody busy, pushing the delete key. I hope you got some sleep today. Look at the times I leave comments. In the wee wee hrs of the night

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    1. At least you have a hobby now

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    2. All hours of the day we know. Looks like someone needs to find a job or a hobby.

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    3. STOP this rabid nonsense. Please if you believe the priests innocent fine but for those who don't show some respect. Please!

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    4. Dennis. Good for you buddy. By the time everyone else wakes up Ralph will have deleted your comments. Get some sleep.

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    1. No, as a frequent visitor I am not sure anyone really cares.

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  33. Wow Ralph, it's time to shut this whole site down. It's really losing it's effectiveness!

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    1. Nice try, but not a chance. Ralph's outstanding work in exposing false accusation and wrongful conviction shines like a beacon amid the corruption, unprofessionalism and dishonesty that marks not just this case but many others involving Catholic clergy. It is patently clear why the mainstream media is not picking this story up. But they are just in denial of the inevitable, and their whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down when the truth is revealed in this and so many other similar cases.

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    2. au contraire...it is a very worthwhile site garnered by a very talented, investigative journalist. unfortunately, as at MEDIA REPORT, comments must be removed sometimes. You simply cannot have outrageous, illogical claims or the same whining comments clogging the space. People become disinterested (frankly, I get disgusted)
      when the same few people take over.

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    4. Disgusting you Josie, is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Thank you. Ms. J and I are old friends.

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    5. No-not old friends-that would be Dephin on MR-frankly, I find your lanquage disgusting, your thoughts not really thought provoking, and your attacks way off base. By the way, Mr. JR tough guy, you say you are not anti-catholic. That's absurd-you are hateful all the time . You make even fun of the Eucharist when Jewish, Moslem, or Hindu people would not be so irreverent. I am not interested in sparring with you. I really do not read much of what you write-I now skip over it. I think your big day was when you chained yourself to the chair in the LA cathedral and that the excitement is pretty much over.I will pray for you tomorrow and the next day as I sincerely feel sorry for you.

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    6. Is this the ALL CATHOLIC web site?
      When did an issue about sex abuse and more importantly it's cover up, become an issue about "Catholic" sex abuse and "Catholic" cover up? These were secular crimes obviously not canonical ones. (Obviously because of the non actions to dismiss abusers by their corporate bosses.)
      The issue is the abuse and the abusers being covered up by their bosses, skip the Catholic part, it's completely irrelevent.
      J, Somebody wants ME, ME a non believer Not you a believer to stare at and obsess on and worship a piece of bread. I don't want to stare at or worship a piece of bread.
      I'm not making fun I'm just not interested in looking at bread.
      I maybe hateful but I am not anti Catholic. Your faith is absolutely non of my business.
      I am however anti bullshit passing itself off as propriety.
      I'm glad you skip over what I write J.
      I think that was my big day too Josie and I'm just trying to get another 15 minutes of fame.(Irony)
      If I'd only known as I was being abused that one day I could enjoy all the support I and other victims have received from good people like you J. Why, I'd suffer it all again.(Irony)
      I know for sure the real issue, the revelations of more and more and more coverups is not over. So tighten your seat belts.

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  34. I thought this was an OPEN forum !!! And anyone can post a comment as long as Admin. rules were followed. What's that right ? Freedom of What ?

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  35. I am sure it would be fine if you actually commented on the article once in a while.

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    1. Chippy you obviously have an ax to grind. Back off the personal attacks please.
      It makes you look like a bully.

      Delete
    2. Jim,

      Give me a break. You and Dennis need to look in the mirror. You two being victims back before Ronald Reagan was president has nothing to do with this case, specifically after this site has continued on searching for the truth. The truth seems to favor the accused, by a landslide. That and the fact that neither of you were in the courtroom for the actual trial and heard all the lies Billy told as stated in the article above. I think the only victims here are in prison. Take your energy and right the wrong, don't pile on more nonsense like your buddy.

      Do you realize that Billy's 56 bag of heroin distribution has been continued 11 total times now, 3 since this trial ended. I guess there no backdoor deal going on there with the DA huh? He should be getting a minimum 3-5 years with his priors. But he is soaking up the sun in Florida. Take the blinders off my friend.

      Delete
    3. May I say first of all Fuck Ronald Reagan.

      Secondly is this the Agatha Christie site? If you're going to believe Billy's a crook prove it.

      And I mean prove it.

      Have you ever tried heroin?

      Does being an addict mean your not a human being?

      If you are post Reagan, Statistically speaking It's more likely that you might have had some experience with drugs.
      Why do you think people take drugs?
      Cuz their lives are so great?
      Do you know that victims, particularly heterosexual male victims, feel like pieces of shit after they've been abused and it never never goes away (unless they take action against those who oppressed them?)

      So when you've proven your positions. I will be the first to jump up and say the jury was wrong but till then I'm sticking to the system

      Delete
    4. jimbo - regarding your statement "If you're going to believe Billy's a crook prove it. And I mean prove it."

      Have you seen a copy of billy's rap sheet? If you need it let someone on this site know and i am sure anyone would be happy to share it with you.

      Delete
    5. I am post Reagan and I am not a crook
      Nor a drug addict. I chose college, job, marriage and to have a family. Here is the crook and drug Dealer/addict:
      Ujsportal.Pacourts.us/docketsheets/courtsummaryreport.ashx?docketnumber=mc-51-cr-0047704-2011

      This is not even including all the expunged arrest that occurred under the age of 18. If this was you or I that committed even half the amount of crimes, we would be behind bars.

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    6. No matter what we say, it will be all over soon.

      Delete
    7. Nixon said he wasn't a crook either and he lied so?

      I didn't ask if you were an addict. I asked if you had ever tried heroin and said just because a person is addicted to drugs doesn't mean they are no longer human and have no rights or should be automatically presumed guilty or less than.

      A rap sheet is not a guilty verdict.

      Why do you think child abusers are murdered in prison? It's in part because so many inmates were abused sending them off on an ever downward cycle.

      Some of us had better luck. Some of us survived , barely.

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    8. Jim

      A rap sheet is not a guilty verdict. True

      Wearing a collar is not a guilty verdict, either.

      You can't have it both ways sir

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    9. Chip, you have an error in logic here.
      When did I say wearing a "collar", (assuming you meant Roman collar rather that a Peter Pan or crew neck), meant anyone was guilty of anything?
      Never, that's when.
      I'm not anti-Catholic or anti clergy but anti sexual abuse period, sir.
      This linking of religion to sex abuse , seems to me, to be being done to the benefit of the corporate Catholic Church, make everyone think the religion is being attacked, when the reality is sex abusers and their enablers are all that's being attacked. What outfits those criminals maybe wearing has nothing to do with the crime.
      Transubstanciation or the Virgin Birth I can swear will never be questioned in any court of law in this country and rightfully so.

      Delete
    10. You said it on a former article post when you said to Dennis "f em all"

      That's when

      Delete
    11. Wow! And I'm supposed to trust your logic regarding this trial?
      I said absolutely nothing about collar wearers in that post.
      I saw Dennis embattled and alone with a whole contingent of opposition.
      That's who the "f' em all" related to; not accused Catholic priests.
      I don't think that way.
      But for you to so casually pretend I did and would be, that unjust towards accused Catholic priests, says a lot about you.

      Delete
  36. Everybody, relax and take a moment! This a wonderful forum, hosted by Ralph Cipriano and the Beasley firm. It is not our site. We do not have ownership of it.

    Dennis, I have appreciated you for many reasons, but mostly, because you are a decent writer and understand how to use paragraphs to separate your thoughts. You also bring a different (and needed) perspective to this forum. Don't go.

    Keep on keeping on, Ralph. And, Dennis, dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and start all over again (if you need to!)

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  37. I just have some thoughts on the comments from the alternate juror who as a teacher is a mandated reporter of abuse. Many people in society are far more educated these days concerning signs of abuse but we are going down a slippery slope if we believe that someone who took a mandatory reporting course or has some education of abuse issues would be able to spot any child who was abused.

    Kids are abused everywhere, at sleepovers, camps, schools, sunday schools, sports programs, and yes,even in classrooms. They are abused by priests, rabbis, ministers, parents, neighbors, coaches, volunteers and on and on. Many times when an arrest is made the community is shocked, it happened right under their nose, on their watch. A local teacher was charged with sexual abuse in the classroom a few years ago and his fellow teachers came to his defense to the point of a spouse of one of the teachers creating a facebook support page for the accused teacher. No one believed it happened until another student and two children from the teacher's neighborhood came forward with their claims of abuse. The teacher fooled the entire community for months claiming his innocence and then plead guilty and admitted to the crimes.

    I realize my comments are a bit off topic and there is much to debate about this case and reasonable doubt, but I hesitate to giving credit to juror's opinions about spotting abuse or giving them credit because the state mandates them a reporter of abuse . There are children sitting in classrooms this morning who were abused in their homes last night and their mandated reporter teachers would not have a clue.

    I realize that Ralph is just reporting what she said and he is not saying she is right or wrong. A mandated reporter these days is just about anyone who works with kids, the Archdiocese even includes volunteers as mandated reporters. It is not any type of expertise, it is a 2 hour course. But I do hope this alternate juror/ teacher realizes that classrooms are ripe for abuse...not something she should be shocked by if she ever encounters this in her career. Abusers don't hang out at nursing homes or senior centers, they go where they have access to children.

    At the end of the mandatory reporting session I attended ,one of the Archdiocese employees told me that a coach from a local Archdiocesan high school who had just been arrested for abusing a student, was in the audience at one of the recent mandatory reporting sessions. So he was an abuser and a mandatory reporter.
    I created this account awhile back using the name "fanof kopride' because I thought I was going to just leave one comment giving "kopride" props for being so on target with his comments. His comments and analysis of the trial are excellent.

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    1. You speak of mandatory reporters in your comment. Are "billy doe's" Police officer father and registered nurse mother not mandatory reporters? When 18 year old "Billy" supposedly told his parents he was sexually abused by a priest why did they not report it then? That is the
      Law, is it not?

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    2. Interesting question and a similar question was asked at the training I attended. The answer was that if a person of legal age, 18 or above, discloses abuse that happened in the past, a historical allegation I believe it is termed, the best thing to do is to encourage and support the individual to report the crime.
      Mandatory reporting is law in regards to a minor who a person believes is being abused or suspicious activity that a person feels the minor is at risk. A person is not always reporting a crime to Child Line or the authorities when they make a report,it could be observations they have made about suspected abuse.

      Delete
    3. "billy doe's" Police officer father and registered nurse mother felt it was best to consult a civil attorney first. probably had to make sure there was a check coming there in the future first.

      Ralph - correct me if i am wrong, but didn't that attorney become a judge and handle one of billy's criminal cases? I believe those charges were dropped were they not?

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    4. My statements were in regards to the alternate juror/teacher. If every mandated reporter was able to identify abuse and the child being abused, the world would be a safer place, but the reality is that is not the case.

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    5. I would just add that I have frequently talked to alternate jurors while the actual jurors are deliberating (if the court has dismissed them). On the civil side, they are no better than lawyers or courtroom staff on predicting the actual verdict. Alternates don't deliberate and juries are not supposed to talk about the case with each other before they start deliberating. Many do change their mind after deliberating. Again, the real scoop will be an actual juror who rendered the verdict. Alternates are still worth talking to in order to gain insight into Pre deliberation impressions, but they have limited information.

      Delete
    6. Fan: mandated reporters do not have to identify abuse. They only have to suspect it.

      Delete
    7. Correct and that is why when a parent is arrested for abusing their child, the follow up story is NOT that the child's 4th grade teacher was also arrested for not 'suspecting' or reporting . When a teacher is arrested for abusing a student the police don't go to the school and arrest the other 50 teachers for not suspecting or reporting the abuse.
      In the Sandusky case the PSU officials were charged because they were given an eyewitness account and did not report to police. That is rare and my comments were intended to only put the matter of mandatory reporting into some perspective in regards to the alternate juror/teacher. I am sure there are mandated reporters who have helped a child by reporting their suspicions and there are also many mandatory reporters, who by no fault of their own, would not have a clue the child in their care was being abused.

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    1. I belive we have heard this line before. We know you hate the catholic chruch and all it standds for. However, put yourself in shoes of the two defendants based on what has been reported on this blog. And remember it's a blog and not an article that is critiqued before it is put to paper. Based on everything you have read here they are innocent or should have been found not guilty based on reasonable doubt. How would you feel if it was you sitting in jail for a crime you did not commit? I don't think you have ever thought or answered that question.

      Now, this Billy you claim to be "great and brave," how many days has he spent behind bars for his crimes? Or is the justice system a one way street for you? If you were abused or lied about being abused then you get a free pass in life. You are not to be held accountable for the crimes you commit. Blame it on the abuse and all is forgiven by the judicial system. You are already a victim and that is why you have done this crimes against society. Time has been served you are free to go is all BD gets every day in court. We'll give you one more chance to mess up and then another one after that. What a life that must be.....

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    3. So the issue now is Hating the Catholic Church. Since when is it a crime to hate the Catholic Church if you feel like it?

      I don't even know if he does hate the Catholic Church.

      And what has the Catholic Church got to do with these convicted criminals? Are they paying for their lawyers?

      Let's get this straight. This is about sexual abuse not about religion.
      Why don't you quit dragging it in?

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  39. I hope the judge orders a new trial and bail for these two innocent men. And why she is at it, call up Billy's criminal trial judge and ask why a person with 6 prior arrests has had a 56 bag of heroin distribution case continued 3 more times (11 Total) since this past trial was complete. Looks like the system is trying to hide something from the public in his criminal case, like a slap on the wrist. Not to mention he is soaking up the sun in Florida. Seems fair to the average citizen doesn't it?

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  40. Ralph, you need to write an article about your Gucci obsession like Buzz just did. You'd get a lot less grief. Interesting perspective from an alternate. Can't wait to hear from an actual juror. The silence is a bit suspicious. Most jurors in PA are willing to talk and are eager to justify their verdict.

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  41. Kopride speaks! Welcome back, KO. There's been a bit of "nonsense" since you last commented; discussions can devolve quickly when tempers get heated, and people are so emotional and not objective.

    I have a silly and frivolous question for you. (Probably welcomed after the recent tension on this blog!) Are you a man or a woman? People refer to you as "sir", yet I've been following Ralph's blog since the beginning,and I always thought when I was reading your comments that you were a very intelligent, female lawyer.

    I've come clean on this blog in earlier posts that I am a woman, even though "Archie Francis" is my name. Archie is my beloved Spaniel, and although he takes no interest in any of this, whatsoever,it's his lot in life that he is my "screen name."

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    1. Yes, lots going on. I did actually just answer Ralph s question about my take on the suicide note under the last post.

      I'm a man. I thought I said that I was an altar boy in earlier posts. And I am an attorney in Philly. Whether I am intelligent seems to be a matter of disagreement and very dependent upon whether the post is perceived as pro or anti RCC. Again, not a female but married to one, and I tend to like them better as jurors. I do work with a large number of very intelligent female lawyers, maybe they are rubbing off

      Delete
    2. Ko, Thanks for answering. When we have names like KO, Archie, and Anonymous, it's almost impossible to know. But, as I read, I put a face to the names, just as I would if I were reading a novel. I now have to re-order my thoughts!

      Thanks for all your posts. You are a gifted writer and have educated us as to the ins and outs of the legal system. There's still always so much to learn!

      Delete
    3. True about mental images. With a name like Archie, its hard not to picture Carrol O'Connor and Edith screeching behind him. I post as kopride on sites that are related to some of my hobbies. Kop stands for King of Prussia. I've also posted as koplaw on some sites. It's a generic gmail account I use to avoid being hammered with spam on my work account. I have written legal pieces under my own name but I don't post on forums that way. I have all kinds of clients and some of them may not be sophisticated enough to realize that I can have personal views that are separate from my professional duties as an advocate. I obviously don't represent the AOP or any of the defendants in these cases. More than half of my work is civil defense.

      Delete
  42. Hey Ralph how many hits does this site get?
    How many hit's a week?

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    1. Jim,

      You asked me to prove that Billy is a crook. I have repeatedly done that by pointing out the fabrications in his story (4 stories actually). His abuse story concerning each defendant and Avery were not only refuted by every defense witness called from the parish but also from Detective Snyder, his own mother and his own brother. The latter three have signed documentation that the prosecution provided during discovery that discredits Billy's actual testimony in court. Plus the Hagner story where he conveniently tells the jury he remembers everything from the night before and immediately after the meeting but NOT ONE MEMORY of what he told her in the car, which he volunteered to go in. Its a scam sir, clear as day.

      Read the facts of the actual case, not just his multiple versions. Know that he called a civil attorney before he notified either the archdiocese or the police (his father is a policeman and his uncle is very high up the ladder). He was a loser at the time and needed a way to get out of multiple drug arrests already having prior arrests. He was looking at years in jail. So he told this story and gave the DA a reason to make a big splash. It was a home run for each of them. One could get out of jail and the other could build a resume for being mayor or governor, like other former DA's before him (Ed Rendell).

      See the truth through the agenda of this kid. Its right there for you.

      Delete
    2. O.K. Chip let's say you're right.
      Billy's a liar. The priests are innocent and a great miscarriage of justice has occurred. Now what?

      You can't but notice the line of Catholic posters here who are banking on, not only that everything you say is true, but that this is just one of many evil lying claims against the Church by opportunists.
      I think that emphasis and oddness of this case serves a very nefarious purpose for an institution feigning innocence even when caught red handed transferring and protecting rapists i.e. Boston's Law and L.A.'s Mahoney.
      But again, So What?

      Nothing said here makes any difference. It's in the hands of the legal system.
      I asked Ralph for the number of hits this site gets (still no answer) that I might gage the possibilities of organizing for the "innocent" here.


      Delete
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    1. Childish.... Is there a iamdenniseckerblog that can be followed? Seems your start-defense mechanism is kicking in. Banging head against the wall i am guessing at this time of the day.

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    3. What other than the 3-4 versions of Billy's story shows that anything happened with either of the accused? Considering all of his testimony was refuted by defense witnesses, his family, and Detective Snyder. What gives Billy such merit given his track record? Why is he to be believed? There was a time in society where junkies were junkies. They were treated and listened to as such.

      Please enlighten me as to why Billy is telling the truth? Please let me know why he called a civil attorney before the police, given that he has a father who is a cop and his uncle is very high up in the police force?

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    5. Sorry Chip,
      No es me jobo!
      Not even interested in trying.
      P.S. I called a civil attorney and before him the Catholic Church because I had been told criminal statutes of limitation were up.
      I had personally told my school authorities when I was 16 what was happening. I believed at the time that they would get rid of him. I did feel responsible for him loosing his job and that would protect others. but found out he didn't. I found out he was transferred to Hawaii. I went to hell and he went to Hawaii.

      Delete
  45. Well it's pretty clear you'd rather have a railroad than an open forum.
    Only fascists wind up censoring free speech, in my opinion.

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    1. I feel so wanted,
      Ralph, up above seemed to be defending the Religion, a, as if it were true, no problem, and b, That It, the Religion, was somehow under attack, yet not word one was err spoken against the faith in the post Ralph was responding to.
      Now why would that be? If Ralph is a believer, his very right,
      Why would he be humping for free, I assume, the Church's political line about religion being under attack? And in particularly in this case in Philly
      If Ralph is an active believing Catholic, great no problem; but why carry the corporate church's laundry when any amatuer reporter could see That religion and corporation were being linked as if one. While the crimes committed were individually enacted;and they were also institutionally enabled (The really Big Picture in all this).
      And where was religion and faith in all this ? Why it was nowhere to be seen. It wasn't even part of the equation but now somehow it's all about Religion under attack.
      Linked for the benefit of the very criminals who created the scandal in the first place.
      That's what could be seen if anyone were a competent investigative reporter.

      Delete
  47. Jim,

    Regarding your call to a civil attorney. Do you know Billy and Billy's father both testified at the trial that they called a total of 5 civil attorneys. They were not looking for advice, they were looking at extortion of the archdiocese. All before they called any authorities. When you dad is a cop and your uncle is either the # 2 or 3 top cops in the city of Philadelphia, not some hick town, but a major metropolitan city, you call law enforcement and get the DA on the phone. They had a plan to get this kid out of trouble. The DA got on board. It was a marriage made in conspiracy heaven. And these two innocent men take the fall.

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    1. Gee! Talk about a leap of faith, everything you said above is speculation all of it. You have no idea what was in the mind of Billy, his father or anyone you've mentioned. no facts were presented by you. None.
      I have to say the only people willing to put their reputations on the line here by naming themselves are Ralph; Josie; Dennis, who ala "1984"seems to be being systemically "disappeared". and me.
      The alternate juror, Ms. Nameless 2013 certainly isn't putting her tookas on the line. But "she's" the new source for more no information just more speculation. All trumpeted in this emotional
      tidal wave of high guessary.
      Emotions are fine but when you are talking prison facts are better.
      Facts not imaginings. And sad to tell you but a guilty verdict is a fact.

      Delete
  48. can any body tell me what good this blog has done ? I am asking for answers from both sides. Since the verdict I cannot see how this site has been productive. It surely has not impacted any public awareness of the case. It has maybe fifthteen individuals who dedicate themselves to following the blog and maybe if lucky a 100 visitors, and in a city the size of Philadelphia its a drop in a bucket.

    If the mainstream media has not picked up on the accusations that are stated here by now then that would only suggest that they do not feel that what is being said here has any importance to bring to the public.

    Is it important to the family of the convicted that leave comments ? Sure. It is a placebo for the pain they feel inside. It is a place they can come to and vent and feel somone maybe listening.

    The only thing I think this blog has done has raised individuals blood pressures. I don't see once again how this blog has helped either Engelhardt or Shero.

    Now Mr. Cipriano and/or the Beasley firm has taken it upon themselves to remove my comments, and that is fine. It is their blog they can censor anyone they wish. They can remove anybody they feel who challenges their way of thinking. However, I sent an e-mail off to Mr. Cipriano last night and informed him of my intentions, that I will not at the urging of men and women who want to read what I have to say stop attempting to place comments on this blog. If it reaches and is read by only one person at a time before it is deleted it is better than none.

    So get use to seeing a whole lot more DENNIS ECKER - THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY BLOG ADMINISTRATOR !!!

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    1. Jim,

      Is speculation not claiming that 3 people at the same parish abused the same individual over a 2 year period and no one suspected anything, let alone a police officer father and nurse mother? Is that not suspect? How about on top of that there are 4 stories from the accuser of said abuse documented which differ like night and day. Seems a little fishy that the kids was in a world of trouble with the law at the time and contacted 5 civil attorneys, considering that the statue of limitations had not expired. Four of them said he had no case because the story was so unbelievable. That is why I think the jury was rogue. More intelligent people who live the law everyday saw through this kid and his agenda. It was still so unbelievable to the alternate juror above in the article during the actual trial. Come to your senses my man, the facts are the facts. Innocent people are convicted everyday in the US.

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    2. I thought I heard the jury was rogue because three or four women made this pact and swore to never speak about it, only to bring down Engelhardt and Shero ?

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    3. Dennis, if you have doubts about what good this blog has done or how many people it reaches, why do you continue to post here? By the way, my favorite posts of yours have been those in the last day or two. A bit repetitive, but far more insightful than the drivel you usually post.

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    4. Hello Chippy,

      Great observations – some comments:

      - Actually, TWO alternate jurors came forward. The first was poster JillJay in the Inquirer (1/31/13) and the one Ralph documented. Perhaps more will come forward.

      - As Ralph mentioned, Billy was arrested at least one time as a juvenile at 14 (expelled from Ryan), and 6 times as an adult (ages 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23).

      - Two of the nearly concurrent retail theft cases were dismissed because the store’s theft prevention managers somehow failed to appear. How come?

      - The first possession (with the intent to deliver) charges were likewise dismissed because the (now deceased) judge ruled that the arresting police officer didn’t have probable cause for the ‘pat down’ search. Huh? The Commonwealth promised to appeal the ruling, but apparently never did. Why not?

      - The second drug possession charge is still pending after an inexplicable series of court sanctioned rescheduling delays – one after the other – all while Billy basks in the Florida sunshine. Preferential treatment?

      - Well AFTER the indictments / arrests, and before the trial, Detectives Walsh and Snyder interviewed Clopp, Fischetti, Long, Mahoney, Bebsen and even Billy’s own older brother. Their statements apparently contradicted Billy’s testimony, and yet the ‘wheels of justice’ kept doggedly turning. Does this mean that justice is blind, determined or something else?

      - In my opinion, Billy – with all his ‘stories’ - is the pampered pawn used by the DA’s office to coerce Avery into a false confession which lead to Lynn’s conviction, and later to the convictions of Engelhardt and Shero - neither of whom had even a hint of previous sexual abuse allegations against them.

      -This is incomprehensible!

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    5. I guess a little curiosity to see how far it goes.

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    6. If Engelhardt and Shero got off at the trial, that would mean that Lynn would have an immediate appeal because he was only convicted because he said "If what that boy said is true, I wish I would have done more". Take into account Lynn's lawyers were not permitted by Sarmina to even question the kid who would end up putting him in jail. There was no way the DA was going to let the Lynn quick appeal happen, so something happened during deliberations to sway the jury in the recent trial. The facts of the case and the testimony of the trial did not produce a beyond a reasonable doubt guilty verdict as we have heard from the two alternates, the media who covered it, etc.. Who were there in court daily unlike Dennis, Sarah, and Jim I might add.

      We will see if the Judge has a backbone come the 18th and does the right thing or if she is just another elected official in Philly who cares more about her career than the truth and justice.

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    7. I for one wouldn't place a whole lot of credibility on what the mainstream media does, especially in this town. The Inquirer is on life support.

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    8. I would like to ask you question. Do you believe at any turn you may make in support of Engelhardt you will face a brick wall ? (ie media,law enforcement,justice system,public)

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  49. chippy, I believe the defense attorneys chose to not cross examine Billy in his testimony last year because it opened the door to I think Avery possibly being called to the stand . Anyone who was in the courtroom that day can tell you that Sarmina never told the defense they could not cross examine the witness . All facts are important to examine but to say the judge did not allow the questioning , I assume you mean cross examination, and that is not true. I was in court that day when the defense chose to not cross examine the witness (billy)

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  50. And that proves my theory that there was one or two strong personalities on the jury backed by a third to intimidate the others into agreeing to convict both the priest and teacher by proferring the tough line that priests and teachers have taken too many liberties on children (without providing any specific proof of such but stating that this happened anyway as if allegations sprouted were ironclad evidence). Had I been on that jury, there would have been a hung jury.

    And then the prison sentence proclaimed by the judge on April 18th may well be very short to coincide with the appellate process that may well throw out the verdict but the priest and teacher are just about ready to be released from jail. This is why Sarmina delayed filing an brief with appellate court in order to delay the appellate process and to ensure Lynn served the full 3 years of his sentence.

    Bottom line would be that somebody paid for the misdeeds of many others over the decades and the somebodies were Lynn, Englehardt and Shero along with Avery. Suck it would, yes.

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    1. James - a question.

      Would a judge be complying with spirit and the essence of the judicial cannons if they willfully delayed filing the reports over which they - and they alone, mind you - have the exclusive control just to maximize an individual's incarceration time in the face of an appeal with a good chance of success. In Lynn's case, this amounts to an extra 5 or 6 month chunk of his life behind bars.

      Is this acceptable judicial behavior?

      Kopride - what do you think?

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  51. James what proves your theory? I am not saying you are wrong, just confused to what comment you are referencing.

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    1. Never served on a jury but from working with committees of various natures, I can say that personalities can take place and shape the direction the committee or jury will go. This was a very unusual case and a very unusual jury which leads me to think that strong personalities subverted the direction the jury was going to go into agreeing on convictions based on the theory somebody had to pay never mind how bad the testimony of Billy Doe was and his drug abuse and criminal record, hat jury wanted to blame the Archdiocese for Billy Doe's problems which was not the case at all as many other students did well to go on to college and professional careers.

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  52. Here's a super interesting commentary on what it must have been like to be a juror in these two trials:

    http://catholics4change.com/2013/03/28/whats-your-response-to-an-accusation/

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    1. Sarah

      Just read this. Very interesting. Yet some said they would convict if a child was "abused" regardless of the quality of the evidence as one poster said she had a friend whose son is in prison for 25 years because he was falsely accused.

      If Billy Doe did not have a drug problem and had a stable personality with a steady job, then he would be more believable if he could get his stories straight. Unfortunately, he did not do this and is very lucky this kind of a jury convicted both defendants. No other jury would convict based on specious evidence and the fact the victim cannot get his stories straight and has a criminal record and zero credibility. This lack of credibility plus his drug/criminal history does not help him at all especially if his case was tried in a suburban locale where people would quickly pounce upon this.

      Bottom line: any child can make a false accusation of sexual abuse against a priest, teacher or a male figure and ensure his being convicted and put away for a long time. How will you defend yourself as a man knowing full well nobody will believe every word you utter on the witness stand? On the other hand, society considers women the mother of our children and allows them liberties such as hugging other people's children, picking them up and down, and touching their hair while a man who is not related to the child is branded a pervert when he does what a woman does to a child. That is why people say that men tend to shy away from the affectionate nature of children knowing full well the child is not of his creation or relation while women are so natural like mothers while around other people's children.

      Still, one must always keep their stories straight and have a clean record while testifying in a jury.

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    2. I trust no one to come near my child and begim showing my child unwarranted affection. First, I believe my wife and I show so much love to our child that she would never neeed to seek affection elsewhere. Second, we have educated our daughter over and over again to never allow a stranger just to start touching her.Third, Is the thought in the backs of our minds that something so cruel can never happen to our child. Its real easy if you follow the rule stranger danger.

      James, it is no longer safe to trust either man or women when it comes to the protection of our children. Cases of women who abuse is increasing year after year. Recent example would be the kidnapping and abuse of the child found in the playground by Cobbs Creek Parkway. That was a woman who abused that child. I would like to believe that case was a fluke but it was not, women can be abusers and perverts as much as men.

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    3. I think that the commentary asks a very good question, what's your response to an accusation? And child sexual abuse probably elicits a more emotional response than just about any other crime. And probably most people's response is lock him up and throw away the key. So it does seem that any case of this type is going to draw a jury inclined to convict.

      Also when the victim is a child, and as is the case in most sex cases, there's not much evidence, people don't expect there to be much evidence. It's also true that Catholic priests are associated with child sexual abuse nationwide since 2002 and particularly in the Philadelphia Archdiocese where the Grand Jury Reports exposed some very terrible practices. Add into that that there's very few instances of false accusations, at least in the Catholic priest cases, and it's easy to see that it's nearly impossible to get a completely unbiased jury. But my point here is that that doesn't mean that they're anti-Catholic. It means that the society at large is anti-child sexual abuse.

      I think the real problem with this trial was a poor defense for several reasons I've mentioned before. But the final problem with the defense was that neither defendant took the stand in his own defense. Sure, the jury would have been instructed to give no importance to that, but I don't think any juror could have really disregarded that. The defense lawyers had to know that in this type of case the jury drawn from the general public is going to be one inclined to convict. Honestly, what's wrong with having a defendant accused of a heinous crime against a child take the witness stand and say he didn't do it? The jury should have at least been able to hear the defendants declare their innocence.

      So rather than demonize the jurors, we should remember that they had a very hard job to do. I can't imagine that anyone in this position after hearing all the testimony over several weeks could possibly be easily swayed. The alternate juror was in no better position than anyone else in the courtroom to say what she would have done. She was not part of deciding two men's fate, and she did not have to face her duty to protect society.

      I very much hope these two men have the best appellate lawyers possible. Because, guilty or innocent, they were not well defended. Lynn's appeal was filed under seal. Why?

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    4. I disagree. Many people, including the District Attorney himself said, he did not expect a guilty verdict. Looking back now there are many things the defense could have done differently. But hindsight is 20/20. These men are behind bars because of a DA(who wants be mayor), the jury(who already had thier mind made up), and billy dope's police family. I don't know where your from, but this happens all the time, ie, the Philly cop who just got out of punching a women in the face, from behind( all of it caught on video). He choose to stand in front of a judge rather than a jury. He was found not guilty. And Guess what? The Judges' wife was a cop. No one is above the law. Unless your daddy's a cop, and he can talk to some people he knows.

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    5. From SaraSNAP: "Add into that that there's very few instances of false accusations, at least in the Catholic priest cases..."
      Disingenuous? Dishonest? Both. She's well aware of the facts; and statistics show the exact opposite of what she claims. I won't bore more enlightened readers with the numbers, or the many infamous cases.
      And why would false accusations against Catholic clergy be disproportionately high, given that they under-index on actual child abuse cases (JJCCJ, Jenkins, etc)? Well, that's a really ea$y one to answer - unless your bigotry and dishonesty distorts your sense of reality.
      She's already been exposed on this blog for both.

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  53. Sarah - Please do not concern yourself when it comes to Lynn. This man should not be in prison but under it. I would like to believe in cases of any abuse towards a child that the abuser may have some underlying reason why he did it. (mental health problems, abused himself) However, Lynn had none of those. He was aware of his actions. He was cardinal B toy, Cardinal B was the puppet master and Lynn allowed himself to be bounced around on his strings. Can you imagine the difference this man could have made to the prevention of clergy abuse, instead his choice was to be a follower instead of a leader. He could have been a HERO. I continue to hope his paperwork gets misplaced or individuals are taking their time getting it ready. because then we can turn around and give him the same excuse he gave others "oops I dropped the ball"

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  54. First of all Dennis, Women don't sexually abuse as much as men.
    Secondly. I don't believe a "death" penalty serves society. I think it demeans society. I want justice not vengence.
    Also I'm still not trusting a lot about this forum. Why it exists? Why there are no spinoffs like fund raising and "victims"(The "falsely accused" priests) support; and no organized demonstrations to support your "victims".

    It can't just be the people who post here; could it? That these few are the only ones to "get" the "injustice"?
    There is absolutely nothing "normal" about this part of Big Trial.
    It feels artificially contrived. That's just how it feels to me.

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    1. Horn swaggle!!!

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    2. I should be sending you an invoice for using my own word. But I can't send it to you because I don't know who you are. Maybe your a child abuser yourself? Annonimity hides so much.

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  55. Dennis-here is some homework for you--as you say about Msgr. Lynn "Can you imagine the difference this man could have made to the prevention of clergy abuse..."

    Msgr Lynn was in his position 1992-2004. Aside from Billy, who made the whole thing up and Mark who I saw testify-story not believable;parents and he after money--there is one other name i can't recall now-you have more time on the computer-ASIDE from these 3? What sexual abuse could have been prevented by Msgr Lynn? I don't know so I am asking you. I singing in the Good Friday sevices and I sincerely will pray that you can unite your victim feelings with the Christ, innocent Saviour and lover of us all...crucified..Thank you.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you haven't read the Grand Jury Reports yet, it's never too late. Are you asking Dennis to summarize them for you? You addressed the homework assignment to Dennis, but it's such an uninformed and lazy assignment that it's likely to draw comments from others as well.

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  56. I'm not concerned about Lynn. He pretty much convicted himself with his admissions to the Grand Jury. But I am concerned about why his appeal was filed under seal. What matter of public interest must be protected from whatever is claimed in his appeal? Why can't the public know what his grounds for appeal are? And if he won his appeal, wouldn't it have to be unsealed to let the public know in what way his due process rights were violated? I put the question out there to seek guidance as to why on earth such an appeal would be filed under seal. And also to contemplate whether the upcoming sentencing of two men might also be appealed under seal. Who or what is being protected?

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    1. Because the professional "victim's advocates" are colluding with the contingency lawyers and use publicity to inflame emotions and taint the jury pool. They are doing it in indirect violation of gag orders. Watch the Tierney case in KCMO. It will be a trendsetter in this regard.

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    2. Wow, a tainted jury pool. Americans are so dumb we don't even have enough ethics to reach a fair judgement in a trial.
      Oh How the corporate Church would just love to abolish the jury system unless they can control it to their advantage.

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  57. Jim- Never said "women sexually abuse as much as men" What i believe I said was "Cases of women who abuse is increasing year after year." Then I made the statement "women can be abusers and perverts as much as men" meaning a women should never be ruled out from being a possible abuser because of gender. Sorry if you miss understood.

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    1. Jim- I respect your feelings regarding capital punishment, but I believe an eye for an eye. I will tell you I would be the first in line to volunteer my services to start that line and push those meds, and if anyone enters my home not invited you will not be walking out.

      Maybe I should live in Groveton, Texas were my wife is from and my in-laws still live, because they do not coddle criminals down there they see that justice is done. The only reason I have not moved is because the fear of snakes, not the child abusing kind, but the ones that have fangs.

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    2. I know a good exterminator. If you would like me to get rid of the snakes, so you can move?

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    3. Axel has my vote for Mister Conviviality, I sure hope he has yours.
      Gahndi said "if an eye for an eye would be practiced the whole world would be blind".
      Dennis I can't reconcile your saying you'd be happy if the priests found guilty were only given a light sentence with an "eye for an eye" construct.
      Also I think "woman", singular, is as capable as a "man", again singular, of abusing sexually is more accurate than " women, plural, "can be abusers as much as men". When the statistics show that women, plural, don't abuse as much as men. Statistics in criminal cases, don't bear that out. Men abuse much more than women; like 100 to 1 times more.
      Maybe I'm being too picky. But we are on the top speculative site and I attempt accuracy to juxtapose against such speculation.
      .

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