Monday, March 4, 2013

The Mystery Of "Sessions"

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

It's a lingering mystery from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trials -- where did the term "sessions" come from?

In the 2011 grand jury report, "sessions" is the code name that two predator priests used for having sex with a 10-year-old altar boy known as "Billy Doe."

But the two priests in question -- Father Charles Engelhardt and former priest Edward V. Avery -- went off to their jail cells telling their lawyers that they had never used that word before and had no idea where it came from.

"He [Engelhardt] said that's a phrase that's been put in my mouth, it's been put in Avery's mouth," defense lawyer Michael J. McGovern remembered his client telling him. "That's a term I've never used,"the priest told his lawyer. Furthermore, "He [Engelhardt] has never heard a priest use that phrase,"McGovern said.

Avery was just as mystified, according to his lawyer, Michael E. Wallace. "I was with him 16 months and I never heard him use the term," Wallace said. "He didn't know what the hell he [Billy Doe] was talking about."

Even the district attorney, in the grand jury report issued Jan. 21, 2011, refers to the first time one of the priests mentioned "sessions" to Billy Doe as an "enigmatic statement." The answer to the mystery, however, may have been uncovered by the district attorney's own detectives a year after that grand jury report was issued.

But in the case of any mistakes in that grand jury report, the D.A.'s office doesn't seem to ever run corrections.

It's a small but significant detail, where the word sessions comes from. Some readers on this blog -- you know who you are -- will argue why should we listen to a couple of jailed priests, one of whom has already been convicted of indecent assault on a minor; the other of whom has already pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor.

But in the case of the word sessions, the district attorney's story line doesn't make sense, and may be undone by the D.A.'s own subsequent detective work. When you have only a victim's story to rely on, and there is no corroborating evidence, every detail in the victim's story matters.

Let's take a look at what the 2011 grand jury report said about sessions.

The first mention is on page 12. According to the grand jury report, Father Engelhardt "told Billy that it was time for him to become a man, and that 'sessions' with the priest would soon begin. With that enigmatic statement, Father Engelhardt let Billy go to school."

On page 14 and 15 of the grand jury report, it says that two weeks after Father Engelhardt initially raped him, the priest asked [Billy Doe] if he was ready for another session, but Billy emphatically refused ... Father Engelhardt left Billy alone after his unsuccessful attempt to arrange a repeat 'session,' but the boy's ordeal was far from over. A few months after the encounter with Father Engelhardt, Billy was putting the bells away after choir practice when Father Edward Avery pulled him aside to say that he had heard about Father Engelhardt's session with Billy, and that his sessions with the boy would soon begin. Billy pretended he did not know what Father Avery was talking about, but his stomach turned."

According to the grand jury report, after Father Avery had sex with Billy Doe, on page 15 it says, "The session ended when Father Avery ejaculated on Billy and told him to clean up. The priest told Billy that it had been a good session, and that they would have another again soon."

On page 17, the grand jury report said that Billy had physical problems after he was raped by the two priests: In the fifth grade, when Fathers Engelhardt and Avery were having their 'sessions' with him, Billy complained to his mother of pain in his testicles."

[During the Father Engelhardt-Bernard Shero trial, a doctor testified that Billy was examined, but nobody could find anything wrong with him].

This brings us to the district attorney's own detective work.

On Feb. 3, 2012, a year after the grand jury report, Detectives David Fisher and Andrew Snyder interviewed Mark Besben, a counselor at SOAR, a drug and alcohol treatment facility. Besben told the two detectives that Billy was in a group meeting when he introduced himself, saying he was a drug addict who had been sexually abused:

Q. Did [Billy] say in the group who sexually abused him?

A. I am not sure if it was then but the group leader brought [Billy] to me. I then began seeing [Billy] one-on-one instead of him being in group sessions.

Q. During your one-on-one sessions with [Billy], what did you and he discuss?

A. Spent a whole lot of time talking about his sexual abuse.

So "sessions" is a drug counselor's term. Billy was certainly familiar with the lingo; in his 24 years, he's been in and out of 23 different drug rehabs. Is it possible that Billy borrowed the term sessions from his drug rehab counselors and, when he told his story to the district attorney, he put that word in the mouths of two priests who never said it?

Even if drug-addled Billy was innocently blending terms, it still makes you wonder why the district attorney ran with it. The word sessions coming out of the mouth of a priest just doesn't sound right. It makes more sense that a psychiatrist or a mental health counselor would say something like that.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office could not be reached.

If the D.A. got  sessions wrong, it certainly wouldn't be the only mistake in that 2011 grand jury report. On page 37 under the heading "Father Brennan raped Mark Bukowski," the grand jury report says:

"As Mark lay in that position, Father Brennan hugged him from behind, resting his chin on Mark's shoulder and pulling the boy closer to him. When Father Brennan pulled Mark toward him, Mark felt Father Brennan's erect penis enter his buttocks. Mark began to cry, and asked himself over and over again, "Why is this happening?" as Father Brennan anally raped him. Mark fell asleep that night with Father Brennan's penis still in his buttocks."

For those of you who may have forgotten, Mark Bukowski is the other young drug addict-criminal that District Attorney Seth Williams relied on to make his historic prosecution against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Both Bukowski and Billy Doe have filed civil suits against the archdiocese. Bukowski outed himself publicly. Billy Doe, according to his civil lawyer, wants to remain Billy Doe.

When Father Brennan was tried last year, that rape charge against the priest was reduced to attempted rape, without any official explanation from the district attorney's office. On the witness stand, Buwkoski said that both he and Father Brennan wore t-shirts and boxer shorts the night they spent in Father Brennan's bed. During the night the priest spent with 14-year-old Bukowski, according to Brennan's lawyer, William J. Brennan, no relation, the priest may have committed a "savage spooning," but there was no anal rape.

The jury wound up hanging 11-1 for acquittal on the attempted rape charge because they didn't believe Mark Bukowski. Father Brennan is scheduled to be retried this week.

Besides the mystery of sessions, there's other lingering doubts about the veracity of Billy Doe's stories. Conspiracy theorists have noticed a similarity in Billy Doe's account about Father Avery raping him and an episode from a book that Billy's mother found under his bed.

"When he went to the Christian Academy," Billy's mother told the grand jury in 2010, "We found books under his bed that talked about sexual abuse, and they were from a library and I would be asking him, why do you have these and what are these from? And he would say they were from a girl at school and they needed them for a report, but they never went away. The books always stayed there."

One of the books according to police records, was Know About Abuse, by Margaret O. Hyde. On page 68 it says:

"Although most men who are good companions to young boys have no plans to molest them sexually, Marvin was setting up a special relationship so he could persuade Kevin to provide him sexual favors. When he asked Kevin to undress and sit on his lap, he told him that this would be their special secret. He was never to tell anyone."

When Billy Doe testified before the grand jury, he said that Father Avery took off his clothes, and then "he had me come over and sit on his lap ... and he started to kiss my neck and my back ... He kept on saying, it's going to be OK. Everything is OK. God loves you."

OK, Billy's defenders will say that's a a stretch; except for the lap-sitting, the stories aren't that similar. But look at the spin the district attorney put on the books-under-the bed-story in that 2011 grand jury report:

"It was at an inpatient drug treatment facility that Billy first told someone about his abuse. Billy’s mother testified that she probably should have suspected something before then, because she found two books about sexual abuse hidden under Billy’s bed when he was in high school. She asked him about the books at the time, but he covered up for his abusers by telling her that he had them for a school assignment."

Billy, of course, had another explanation for why he kept the books under his bed. Like a lot of things involving Billy, it all comes back to drugs.

Billy told the district attorney's office a story that didn't make it into that 2011 grand jury report: he said he kept the two books under his bed because they both had hardback covers.

When Billy wanted to say, snort some Xanax, he would reach under his bed, grab a book and crush a few pills on the hard covers of either Child Abuse or Know About Abuse.

That Billy; always coming up with new stories to entertain his friends at the district attorney's office.

Both Billy Doe and Mark Bukowski were obviously unstable, drug-addicted criminals who told stories that were either, take your pick, highly suspect, or simply not credible. Sadly, the district attorney chose to base a grand jury report and the entire historic prosecution of a church on two such unreliable witnesses. 


41 comments:

  1. I really feel sorry for what has happened to the catholic church. I believe it has hit the point of no return. I truly believe after reading this new blog today and following the history making events over the past few weeks, and the events that have occurred today the respect and trust are gone, and the public worldwide is reading between the lines.

    I actually feel sorry for those who are trying their best to defend the church and its clergy members.

    I am at the point like so many others who would like to see all this be over with. I would like to contact the DA's office and say "give them this one" (regarding Brennan trial ) but that would not be fair to Mark or Fr. Brennan. I would like to wake up and find this all to be a dream. But that won't happen because somewhere out there is always someone willing to throw a log on the fire, either to sell books or sensationalize their writings. These are the people that worry me because they have no firsthand experience regarding the subject.

    So if it makes anyone feel better to call me a church or clergy basher feel free to do so. But remember I also use to be catholic and I did not start this fight against the church. If you feel that a certain individual is innocent then file the appeals, but stop bashing on a individual 2000 miles away. There is no respect in that, its like shooting someone in the back.

    My new job for the 6th: Be on the lookout for rogue jurors
    Make sure the D.A.'s are not mean
    Make sure the judge is not mean

    Does the above sound dumb ? Believe it or not they are only a few excuses I heard why clergy
    members did not receive a fair trial.

    ReplyDelete
  2. None of us can, or will ever, know what really happened. Reading these accounts, and looking at it from both sides, is extremely depressing. None of us doubts that hideous abuse has occured. It's almost too much to bear.

    I appreciate that Ralph is really delving into the evidence - evidence that wasn't presented at trial.

    I'll continue to read, I'd read Ralph if he wrote on the back of cereal boxes....but this is just so sad. whichever way it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. I can only give you the facts of what has happened to me and how I was treated. We all are nothing but Monday morning quarterbacks. What we see here is alot of people who are concerned and trying to see that justice is done. Although we don't agree with each other, this is a start. We are not sitting on our asses and saying there is not a problem.

      Now Archie is what Ralph delving into actual evidence ? Is it evidence when a attorney speaks about the statement a unknown official made about his office regarding Billy. I know if the lawyer was able to give a name it would have been more interesting. It only shows that Ralph is not being told the whole truth at no fault of his own.

      Delete
  3. Ralph - excellent work! Please continue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joe. I'm on it. Stay tuned to this blog for further bulletins!

      Delete
  4. I hope everyone hear agrees about one thing and that is we are very tired of hearing about the abuse our children have bee through. This is the time for ALL of us to put our money were our mouth is. On March 11, 2013 there will be a vote on HB 342. If you are unaware what HB 342 is,it is an amendmant that will allow a one-time 2 year suspension of the current statutes of limitations that prevents victims from filing civil law suits that would allow access to the justice system so that suspects could be subpoenaed and deposed.

    This is a chance to contact your PA STATE LEGISLATORS and tell them we need to see a change.

    This is also a chance to contact Archbishop Chaput and tell him we no longer what to protect abusers but protect our children, because if we don't protect them and give them a feeling they can trust the church, it will cease to exist. We also want to see him first in-line to support HB 342.

    I will leave my email address so you contact me so I can e-mail anyone who would like the complete information packet that I received, and I will then also send you the e-mail address of Archbishop Chaput so you can tell him you are in favor of HB 342.

    It gives the Archdiocese a chance to prove they are truly interested in protecting children.

    If this goes ignored by the church, there is only one conclusion that can be made about the church.

    eckerdennis@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before anyone wants to correct my spelling again. I would like to change the word hear as I used above to here.

      Sorry.

      Delete
  5. Dennis you are so right about HB 342.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dennis, there are scores of cases across the country where SOL does not apply towards either the criminal or the civil aspect, where the accusers have chosen to ignore the criminal side and go straight to litigation.

    That is a purely litigious mindset that has -0- interest in "protecting children".

    Laws similar to HB 342 across the country specifically target Catholic clergy, and ignore school teachers, coaches, protestant ministers, etc. Does HB 342 apply to society across the board, or does it single out any specific group?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not wish for this to be a pissing match between us.

      If you wish to learn more about HB 342 since it is very clear you have some questions and have not been clearly informed about the amendmant, please send me your e-mail information to me and I will be more than happy to send you all the documentation I have.

      The church should have no fear. This is something Chaput should be leading the charge for.

      eckerdennis@ymail.com I check my e-mail every hour or two.

      Delete
    2. Please just answer the very simple question: Does HB 342 apply to society across the board, or does it single out any specific group?

      Delete
    3. The wording does not single out to any specific group. But do I believe and once again I say do I believe it will affect a specific organization ? Sure. You and I are not stupid. But if that organization has nothing to hide or fear they have nothing to worry about.

      In addition if that organization fails to support the amendment it will only show to the public it still operates as business and usual. The old saying is actions speak louder than words.

      You more then others who comment here should want this amendment to pass, But I see you rather continue to forgive, forget and kiss those cheeks. But I will leave you with one thing to think about "What has that organization do for you or those other people you say you know"?

      Delete
  7. Ralph, for the third time I ask you: Does the Beasley firm have any fiduciary relationships with the Catholic Church?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm interested in that answer also. Its either YES or NO.

      Delete
    2. Does any law firm have any fiduciary relationships with their clients? What a stupid question!

      Delete
    3. Is the Catholic Church a client of the Beasley firm?

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. And a follow-up question. Does the Beasley firm support giving losing defense lawyers a platform for stoking rumors in the community?

      Delete
    6. Ralph answered your question at least a month ago and then a second time you asked and you were told that the question was answered the 1st time. You don't listen to anyone.Stop wasting people's time. A lot of ADD going on here.

      Delete
    7. Josie mind your own business; and butt out of mine.
      He has never answered my question about any connection to the Church EVER. So you can stop lying for one.

      Delete
    8. So Ralph was that a no to my first question (3rd really) and Sarah's or No to Sarah's follow up?

      St Sarcasm, So the Church is a client of the Beasley firm? Or are you just typing for practice?

      Delete
    9. No offence JR-we all know that you have some very serious problems. How dare you say I am lying and to mind my own business? If you comment people can comment back. You are rude , crude and WRONG.

      Under entry JAN. 25-'Prosecutor tries vainly to plug all the holes in his case' -you asked question at 10:40 am about Beasley Firm. Ralph answered it right away (if I were him I would have ignored you.) Because...you do not pay attention i.e, you did ask the same question for 1st time on Sept.21st and you were answered then! You even had a response to his answer on Oct. 5 in the same blog entry.

      Believe me I didn't spend much time looking this up. I have a uncanny ability to remember details that I read (photo memory) and I like exercising my brain.

      Delete
    10. No offense J.R.?
      Whose "we" Josie, you and the SNAP fraud?.
      You know nothing about me or any "serious problems" of mine so again mind your own business. And I am none of your business.
      I am sorry. I swear I never saw Ralph's Jan 25 response. Or any other. Now I've seen it. I accept his answer. I just felt my question hadn't been answered. So I kept asking. That's all that happened. (I was buying a home at the time but that's no excuse.)
      Just because you don't ask questions, Josie doesn't make asking them a crime.
      FYI Josie is a big defender of a religion that isn't being attacked at all. It pretends it is in order to protect it's corporate officers. A ploy paid for by the hierarchy; bought from PR firms. The corporate officers of that religion have committed felony after felony and nothing has happened to them, simply because they are corporate officers in a religion.
      So Josie why don't you and those who all know what "serious problems" I have, check the beam in your own incense clouded eyes
      and, not so crudely, F' off. Memorize that!

      Delete
  8. In a comment above I listed the three things i needed to be on the look out for regarding this case.

    I forgot one: REASONS USED TO DELAY A TRIAL.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My end of the night thoughts or I should facts. Some feel that Shero, Engelhardt and Lynn are innocent., and they even state these innocent men are in prison. However, I do believe the saying in this country goes "all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law" and I do believe these men by the evidence presented have been found guilty. So they are not innocent.

    Then we have this amendment HB 342 that will allow a one time 2 year suspension to the current SOL. There are individuals along with the catholic church who are against this change and when I ask them for the reason why I always have been ignored. Do I know the reason why ? Yes, but I wanted to hear it for myself.

    They should be glad I'm not into politics, because I would do away with any SOL when it has to do with sexual abuse. In someways it is worse than murder. It kills the heart and soul of the victim and leaves the victim living in hell. Then like a disease it effects family members and friends with the biggest heart in world who try and understand what the victim went, is and will go through. Am I angry ? sure,but I have every right to be, will I ever forgive and forget ? No. Its not that simple.

    Some say I hate the church, is that true ? yes. But let me explain. I never hated the catholic faith. I remember growing up when there was two types of kids in the neighborhood, they were the publics and the catholics and I remember how proud I was to be a catholic. I was even chosen as a kid to write my thoughts about receiving communion in the hand when they first started doing that. I remember how proud I was to see what I had to say along with my picture in the Catholic Standard and Times. A cut-out I still have 40 years later. The hate for the church is a hate for those who should have done something, and as I got older I learned the fault was not at the bottom layer but at the top. I believe the one individual who should be in prison for the rest of his life is Lynn. The damage he could of stopped, but did nothing.

    It is to late for me, I have asked to be formally excommunicated numerous times, and I have been baptized into another faith. And the way things are going I see no future in the catholic church. There are to many secrets.

    There to many events that are keeping the DA's office busy because of the catholic church, and it seems when one trial is done there is another waiting in the wings to take its place. How many people know there is another case pending regarding Father McCloskey ? Soon the prison will have its own cell block for clergy members. They can even be looked upon as a new gang. They can be called the fearless fathers and instead of having a special color, their trademark will be they all wear white collars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to make this simple. The Beasley Firm does not represent the Catholic Church, and has not represented it in the past. The Beasley Firm, and this reporter, are not interested in rumors, unless they can be confirmed as facts. Michael J. McGovern, a former high-ranking DA himself, speaking about that high-ranking official in the DA's office that he had the conversation with about his client, did not want to identify him PUBLICLY. Can you read between the lines there?

      Here's the bottom line folks. Four men are in jail for a series of crimes that may have never really happened. There are no corroborating witnesses or evidence to back Billy's stories. Indeed, most of the evidence in the case, and common sense, points to the disturbing conclusion that Billy made it all up.

      That may not fit into the world view of some of the people who read this blog. To be honest, it didn't fit in my world view either. HIt Google and you'll discover that I was formerly known as a critic of the church. But I've been in the trenches on this story now for two years. I've been in that courtroom for every minute of both trials. I've heard testimony from victims that would send the pope to jail. I can think of several stellar witnesses at the Lynn trial, including a doctor, a priest, a detective and a nun. They were fantastic witnesses, entirely credible. And then there's Billy Doe, clearly at the bottom of the barrel in terms of credibility.

      I'm going to keep digging into the facts of this case. All of you are invited to come along. But try to keep the conspiracy theories about what I'm doing down to a dull roar if you can. A reporter pursues a story regardless of where it goes. If he's doing his job right, he abandons his pre-conceived notions along the way and follows the truth where ever it goes, no matter who gets upset, and whatever the cost. That's how I got fired from my last job at the Inquirer folks, for chasing a story about an archbishop who was spending money lavishly and in secret at the same time he was closing poor schools and churches because the church was supposedly out of cash.

      That's what I did then, and that's what I'm doing now, chasing a story wherever it goes to find out the truth. Got it?

      Delete
    2. Keep up the great reporting Ralph. You're doing an excellent job.

      Delete
    3. Yes, Ralph, you are performing a great public duty in pursuing your professional calling. Your reporting is first class. Please stick with it. This is just far too important. It is an absolute disgrace that, were it not for this blog, these innocent men would be forgotten and abandoned to a dysfunctional and corrupt justice system.
      I am sharing this site and this case on other sites and would encourage readers to do so.
      Finally, people, is anybody in Philadelphia taking legal steps to bring about a re-trial and get this finding overturned? Who should we be writing to? It is Ralph's job to report objectively on the facts of the matter; it is ours to demand that justice be done.

      Delete
    4. That's why, Dennis, the Rico act should be enforced against these bastards but it won't be.

      Delete
  10. Ralph I apologize to you that I saw none of your answers to my questions and I do accept your answers. Please accept my sincerest apology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem at all Jim. Again, I like the lively commentary on this blog, both pro and con. Keep saying what you believe in.

      Delete
    2. Well one day, if you'd like a Pulitzer, there's the "story" of SNAP to consider. Kay Ebling and I and other activist victims across this country have real questions about SNAP; it's founding and it's complete lack of integrity towards all activist victims,
      .http://michaelbaumann.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/snap-incorporating-paper.jpg,
      I enclose the SNAP incorporating paper. Please read it and see who really started SNAP.

      Delete
  11. P.S. Josie there was no answer to my question of Sept 21 till over 2 months later(Nov.26} and not by Ralph but by Max Kennerly. No wonder I missed it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ralph, I do enjoy reading what you write. However you as the reporter, it does not seem everything you write is truly objective. There is nothing wrong with you to have your own beliefs in all the evidence presented in these trials. But they are statements that should be kept to yourself. It would be different if this was called the Ralph Cipriano editorial page. The example I do give is your last blog regarding the DA's office. I began reading the article thinking this could be a possible major blow to the prosecution, but when I continued to read it the story lacked facts.

    It maybe hard to believe, but I do not wish to see any innocent person be placed in prison, and I also believe if Billy or anyone else who fabricates a story about this subject for revenge or to see a large payout should be placed in prison. My thoughts are there is not enough blue shirts in Philadelphia to protect that individual. They only make it harder for us who have a TRUE story to tell.

    Please continue to chase this story and the facts, but please do not end up like that other reporter (DP) because whatever he writes goes straight to my fireplace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dennis,

      Why would McGovern let out in public the name of this DA employee at this point in time, with sentencing and the appeal process in the future. It would be idiotic for a defense attorney to smear this person's name in the media and have them possibly turn on them if called in appellate court. Looks like he has some chips to play in the future and I am sure he is not thinking of satisfying the bloggers of the world, by outing government employees.

      And if this and other information was presented during trial as you wonder, it would have been more reasonable doubt on top of a mountain of reasonable doubt for his client, as McGovern was quoted in a former article on this blog.

      Delete
    2. I believe a few blogs back I made a statement regarding the Pope's departure, and stated the RUMORS of the pope's departure was do to many things including a Interpol Investigation.

      Now let me cut and paste a response made by justone1618. "Dennis, if they are RUMORS then why bother to peddle them? Yes, I should have been able to produce written documentation regarding my statement.

      But, is there a double standard here ? That was a powerful statement to make that the DA's office had doubt regarding the victim. With no facts to back it up. As far as I know the attorney may have received that information from the janitor. or hot dog vendor outside.

      Ralph should have refused to submit that story until he received all information. As the story reads now there is no validity. You can't ask for one person to tell the complete truth, and somone else only has to skate by.

      Delete
    3. Dennis, take another look at that story. Most of it is lifted directly from grand jury, police and court records, and interviews withe the participants. What the hell are you talking about regarding a lack of facts? You're drowning in them. And most of it is completely new info in the case.

      But if you like bland copy, and no writer's point of view, well there's a daily newspaper in town that I can direct you to which gave up reporting on this story a month ago. I'm sure you'll find their view of the case to be more to your liking.

      Delete
    4. Dennis, to equate some rumor of an Interpol investigation leading to Pope Benedict's resignation with the hard facts presented on this blog in the Philly Truth Abuse Trial and its murky undercurrents is disingenuous.
      If you're interested in consuming or spreading groundless rumor and specious argument, please migrate to the PuffHo, NYT, WaPo or that Philadelphia rag which is on a par with them. What they all have in common is that they seek to form public opinion, not inform the public. The thoroughness of the reporting on this blog puts those publications to shame.
      The only double standard at hand is the one that played out in a Philadelphia court house, which will not be allowed to slip unnoticed into distant memory.

      Delete
  13. Frankenlill9 - Hay, eye did't sea you their. Eye was wundering if ewe were going to join us.

    Thought it was a good day too add some levity. Josie kool your jets.

    Everbody step back take a breath.

    Sorry Frankenhill9 did not mean to bust them. SHHH. Yes I did.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks again Ralph for the service you are providing by reporting on this case. And anybody who read Ralph when he was an Inky reporter; or followed the cases that the Beasley firm handles; would know that nobody involved with the blog has any agenda to protect the church at all costs. What can you say? The lazy story to report is that priests are molesting kids; the church is covering it all up; and the recent convictions are proof of both. It certainly fits with the prevailing media narrative; and the modern helicopter parenting notion that herds of pedophiles wander at large waiting to lure our children. But reality-based folks have to accept that truth is not always simply what they believe or want to believe--regardless of the stridency of that belief. I am a huge believer in the jury system generally. . . but it is not perfect. On occasion, innocent folks are convicted and the guilty go free. These cases are tough because the victims have real baggage and there is no corroboration. For example, in a recent article about Kane's investigation into Corbett's handling of the Sandusky investigation while AG, it was mentioned that there were some delays in bringing an indictment because the early accusers against Sandusky had credibility issues and their stories constantly changed. The fact that McQueary witnessed and reported an actual assault years before changed the dynamic of the investigation because suddenly things were corroborated. Some of the victims, including the victim who McQueary allegedly saw, initially gave statements to the police denying any abuse. There are the same suggestions by Sandusky supporters that this was all a put on by greedy plaintiff's lawyers that you see in this case. I'm sorry, but if some random kid with problems came forward and said that a Penn State Coach used to rape him openly in a public locker room with janitors and coaches walking around, most would have called the kid a liar. I personally don't know what happened between Billy and these convicted men; but we can't blame Ralph for asking legitimate questions

    ReplyDelete

Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

 

Big Trial | Philadelphia Trial Blog Copyright © 2013 BigTrial.net