Monday, September 14, 2015

Billy Doe Case Back From The Dead

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Like a zombie that refuses to die, the Billy Doe civil case is still scheduled for trial at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9th, in Courtroom 480 of City Hall.

Many people assumed the case was over after Archbishop Charles Chaput caved and decided to settle with the notorious junkie hustler, but court records say the show will go on.

Msgr. William J. Lynn, and the estate of the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua have already been dismissed as defendants, as has the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But Billy Doe's lawyers are still pressing forward with what they hope will become a show trial against three remaining defendants in the case -- former priest Edward Avery, former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero, and the estate of the late Father Charles Engelhardt.

Avery and Shero remain in prison for sexually assaulting the former altar boy; Engelhardt died in prison last November.

But lawyers for Engelhardt's estate are still trying to clear his name, and they have gotten some help from a judge. On Sept. 9th, Judge Linda Carpenter granted an "emergency motion to compel the independent medical examination" of the plaintiff. According to the judge's order, Billy Doe has to travel from Florida to be examined at 10 a.m. Sept. 17th in the offices of Dr. Stephen Mechanick, a forensic psychiatrist in Bryn Mawr. And if Doe fails to appear, the judge ruled, Engelhardt's estate can apply for sanctions.

In their Sept. 4th emergency motion to compel the independent medical examination of Billy Doe, lawyers for Engelhardt's estate argued that the plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the "alleged sexual abuse and negligence resulting from "one isolated and independent act of battery" that supposedly occurred when Billy was a 10 year old altar boy.

Doe was previously examined by Dr. James I. Hudson, a Belmont, MA psychiatrist, "in connection with this litigation," the emergency motion said. Dr. Hudson had been retained by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who issued an expert report on May 19th "relating to plaintiff's extensive psychiatric history and whether Plaintiff's symptoms could be considered attributable to childhood sexual abuse or be cited as evidence of prior sexual abuse."

But apparently the archdiocese's lawyers would not share their expert report with Engelhardt's lawyers, who so far have been paid for by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the priest's religious order.

Engelhardt's lawyers wrote that prior to submitting a pre-trial memorandum, they contacted the archdiocese's lawyers, and were given permission to name Dr. Hudson as an expert in their case. The archdiocese's lawyers were fully aware and "did not object to this [expert] designation," Engelhardt's lawyers wrote in their emergency motion.

But on Aug. 3rd, the archdiocese's lawyers advised Engelhardt's lawyers in a letter that they had settled the cased against Lynn, the archdiocese and Bevilacqua's estate.

"When counsel for the archdiocese failed to return several calls over the course of several days, counsel for Enghardt contacted the experts directly and was advised that the archdiocese had communicated its preference that the experts no longer participate in this case," the emergency order said. "The experts, many of whom the Archdiocese is using in other abuse cases, felt obligated to honor the Archdiocese's direction."

"After a week of attempts to speak to counsel, counsel for the Archdiocese finally confirmed this position via email dated August 10, 2015," the emergency motion said. Engelhardt's lawyers then decided to find their own expert. Billy Doe's lawyers, however, refused to make their client available for examination.

That led Engelhardt's lawyers to cry foul.

"Defendant Engelhardt is entitled to obtain an independent mental examination of the Plaintiff" because it is "reasonable and necessary to the defense of this case," Engelhardt's lawyers wrote in their request for an emergency order. "Engelhardt intends to use in the trial the testimony of the physician who examines Plaintiff as to the nature, extent and probable duration of Plaintiff's injuries complained of and to refute the expert testimony presented by Plaintiff," wrote Thomas R. Hurd and Monica T. Holland, on behalf of the estate of Father Charles Engelhardt.

While the archdiocese's lawyers weren't talking to Engelhardt's lawyers, court files reveal they were communicating with Billy Doe's lawyers.

On June 17th, Nicholas M. Centrella, a lawyer for the archdiocese, informed Billy Doe's lawyers that all expert witnesses in the case were "retained and paid solely by Archdiocese to defend itself in this matter." If the case was settled, Centrella wrote, "there is no agreement with any co-defendant that those experts become experts for the co-defendants."

"However, we also do not believe that there is any prohibition on them [co-defendants] separately retaining the psychiatric and damage experts if those experts are willing to testify on their behalf," Centrella wrote.

In an Aug. 3rd letter to Judge Jacqueline F. Allen, Billy Doe's lawyers stated that "in light of the prior criminal convictions" of the remaining defendants Avery, Shero and Engelhardt, "it is now likely that, what was thought to be a possible 4 to 6 week liability/damages trial, is now going to be a 3 to 5 day damages trial only."

In a Sept. 1 letter to Engelhardt's lawyers, Billy Doe's lawyers "strenuously" objected to any additional examination of their client.

Billy Doe's lawyers complained that in a civil case more than four years old, Engelhardt's lawyers for the first time were requesting that Billy "return from Florida to participate in another, intrusive, all-day question and answer session about heinous acts of sexual abuse that he [Billy] simply wants to forget at this point."

Billy Doe "has already lost time from work coming to Philadelphia for previous depositions and court hearings," his lawyers wrote. Doe has also traveled from Florida to Boston "for an overnight trip involving a psychiatric examination, the cost of which you refused to share with the Archdiocese," his lawyers wrote Engelhardt's lawyers.

In pursuing a show trial, Billy Doe's lawyers can only be seeking the publicity that would accompany a large jury award. Of the remaining defendants, Shero is a pauper and Engelhardt's estate is minimal. Meanwhile, Avery has claimed in court papers that he's so broke he had to fire his lawyers and will defend himself in the civil case.

Avery is currently serving a sentence of 2 12 to 5 years at SCI Laurel Highlands, in Somerset, PA. His former lawyer, Clark Hill, filed an Aug. 20th petition to withdraw from the case. "Avery has indicated he can no longer afford to pay Clark Hill PLC to represent him and that he will proceed to represent himself in this matter pro se," Hill wrote.

On Aug. 28th, upon consideration of Hill's request, Avery was ordered to show cause why the motion should not be granted. Avery "currently housed at SCI-Somerset shall participate via video conference, " Judge Allen ruled. The video conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 18th in Courtroom 1106 of the Criminal Justice Center.

Avery pleaded guilty on the eve of the first archdiocese sex abuse trial in 2012, where the marquee defendant was Msgr. Lynn. The following year Engelhardt and Shero were convicted by a jury on sex charges and sent to jail. Despite a mountain of reasonable doubt in the case.

Over the years, Billy has drastically changed his story about the abuse he allegedly suffered from Engelhardt.

Billy Doe originally told two archdiocese social workers that Engelhardt attacked him in the church sacristy after a 6:30 a.m. Mass. Engelhardt supposedly locked all four doors of the sacristy and stripped himself naked, before forcing the boy to have oral sex, Billy claimed. Then, according to Billy, the priest flipped Billy over and pounded away at him for five hours of brutal anal sex. After it was over, Billy claimed, the priest threatened to kill him if he told anybody about it.

But when Billy Doe told his story of abuse to the police and grand jury, the anal sex and the death threat disappeared from Billy's story.

Instead, Billy told a completely new tale about oral sex and mutual masturbation with his alleged assailant, complete with a brand new story line about Father Engelhardt supposedly showing him pornography and serving him altar wine before the attack.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese has refused to comment on the Billy Doe case. How much cash they gave Billy remains a mystery that should interest local Catholics.

UPDATE: On Wednesday, Judge Carpenter vacated her Sept. 8th order granting an emergency motion to compel the independent medical examination of Billy Doe. According to the docket, that judge's order was entered in error as an uncontested motion.

Today, Judge Jacqueline Allen granted an emergency motion by Engelhardt's estate to compel the independent medical examination of Billy Doe. According to the docket, Judge Allen ordered Billy to appear at Dr. Mechanick's office either at 10 a.m. today or within 30 days at a date, location and time "mutually agreed by the parties."

UPDATE NO. 2: On Monday, Judge Allen approved lawyer Clark Hill's petition to withdraw from the case. "Edward V. Avery will hereafter represent himself in this matter pro se," the judge wrote.

33 comments:

  1. Finally, Finally you post a photograph of what a abusive priest looks like to a thirteen year old as the priest moves in for the kill.

    The only thing missing over the photograph is a balloon with such words as "God loves You"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dennis - careful, don't over extend yourself again.

      Delete
    2. actually Dennis, your eyesight is very poor these days, I recognize Danny Gallaghe or as the courts would prefer "billy doe"

      , those are his tattoos and the scabs from all of the heroin he put up his arms ....

      Delete
  2. When the archdiocese asks people for money, it should be able to divulge how much they settled for Billy doe as people will wonder why they settled with a drug addict who cannot get this stories of abuse straight. Billy commits perjury on the stand when he tells a different variation of his story and that is more than enough for a judge to grant the archdiocese dismissal of the civil lawsuit. Billy doe is deserving of no mercy from us for putting 3 priests and a teacher in jail for nothing more than perjurious testimony. DA Seth Williams should be disbarred from the practice of law for running kangaroo trials putting innocent people in jail. Both judges Sarmina and Ceisler should not be sitting on the bench at all. We deserve better from those we elect to become DA and judges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have said for years the parishioners of the catholic church should have demanded to be more involved in the running and operation of a church they make up. You most likely would not have seen the majority of cover-ups, the moving of abusive priests from parish to parish and all the other BS your Bishops, Cardinals and anyone else has done wrong. You would have been able to police your on church.

      Now you ask to know how much was paid to Billy as your church bulletin is asking for more in the collection plate and the school tuition keeps going up.

      Sorry pal to late. I get to say I told you so and you get to worship under a dictatorship and when they tell you to jump you will ask how high. If not you will be considered a bad catholic.

      Delete
  3. Bankruptcy only option for Shero, Avery and Englehardt. It is pointless to debate a stacked civil suit when perjurious testimony is used. Those guys have pennies to pay a judgment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe each of them can set up a GoFundMe page.

      Delete
  4. 1. Can't wait to see Avery go pro se.

    2. It can't be about the money since the three remaining Defendants are poor.

    3. My goodness, the Archdiocese is being awfully mean to the Estate of (and the memory of) Fr. Engelhardt. I wonder why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lawyers, they say we represent you only and no one else and that's how it works.

      Delete
    2. Not really. Lawyers do the bidding of their clients. If the Archdiocese told its lawyers to share their information with a Defendant in this case, the lawyers would do it.

      Delete
  5. Billy Doe is taking no prisoners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Billy Doe, his parents and lawyers are running scared. Took the AOP payout to avoid getting nothing at trial. Billy has no job, no wife and loan to pay back so he likely broke even after all of this.Headed straight back to the needle, his monthly check should be able to accommodate that lifestyle.

      Delete
    2. Then why say Chaput caved in by paying off Billy Doe with the AOP's twelve pieces of silver? Burden of proof in civil trial is much less than such during criminal trials which of course, were kangaroo trials. So, during civil trials, lawyers are always probing and scoping the opposition to see what they may be amenable to accepting as far as a settlement is concerned. Either the lawyers found Billy Doe's button and got him to accept a settlement much less than what could have happened during civil trial. No one can predict what a jury would award as we do not know the composition of the jury to be selected. Or Rome pushed Chaput's button to settle the case BEFORE the Pope comes to town. Chaput may be considered for cardinal and they don't want this hanging around too long. We will never know how much AOP paid off Billy Doe, but we hope they didn't give him a pot of gold. Eventually we will learn and either be pleased or disgusted. Or the lawyers pushed the family of Billy Doe to coax him to accept this settlement before going to trial and getting nothing. AOP could have pushed civil trial deep into 2016 by way of continuance.

      Delete
  6. Avery and Shero remain in prison for 'allegedly' sexually assaulting the former altar boy. Avery - who passed several polygraphs - copped a plea to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, and Shero was just more collateral damage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lawyers for Billy Doe may know fully well Avery, Shero and Englehardt have zero coin to pay off a settlement. What they may have offered those guys is a settlement forcing them to admit they sexually abused Billy Doe in exchange for a release from financial obligations related to the settlement. One is dead and two are in prison, likely for all of their prison terms.

      Going to trial is a very stressful experience. No one wins in the end. Filing for bankruptcy and getting to do that with a pro bono lawyer would spare them the stresses of a civil trial as judgment could be entered against them if they do not show with the knowledge that they will never be able to pay off a judgment due to bankruptcy.

      Delete
    2. An innocent priest's reputation is at stake and he and his attorney's are entitled to all of the remedies any defendant would be entitled to.....
      kudos to this judge for doing the right thing and ordering Danny Gallagher back from Florida to be interrogated by the psychiatrist representing Fr Engelhardt.......
      hey if he needs moral support , he can always look up his drug addicted, dancing queen lying friend, Leo Hernandez.......

      this case is nothing but a scam.....

      Delete
    3. It is a scam along with the kangaroo criminal trials. Just keep eyes peeled to see if Billy Doe shows to be questioned by the psychiatrist September 17th. If he does not show up, Englehardt's estate will move to sanction him. Which means, Englehardt will be dropped from the civil suit once the judge approves the sanctions, thus leaving Avery and Shero, both who are virtually penniless..

      Delete
  7. You're all making the assumption that both Avery and Shero are going to lose in the civil trial. That may not be the case. Sooner or later the unvarnished truth will surface.

    We were all hoping that the truth would shine forth when Doe was thoroughly cross-examined in the cancelled civil trial. However, the AD gave up at the 11th hour - without even firing a shot. Their confidential settlement implied that they themselves and the others were all guilty as charged.

    Why is Doe's lawyer hounding a dead priest's estate and two others in jail if he can hope to recoup very little for his client, and certainly less for himself - just 'chump change'?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For marketing purposes, separate themselves from the other non-ethical law firms in the city of Philadelphia.

      Delete
  8. @anonymous 2:45PM - What if these lawyers seek an exceptionally large (but knowingly cashless) award just to 'advertise' their proven capabilities in sexual abuse cases.

    Are they just 'chumming'?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Today is the day when Billy doe comes for his psych evaluation per request of Englehardt estate. Will he show up or not? Keep eyes peeled,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet he doesn't show, it's worth it for his lawyer, Slade McLaughlin to risk whatever sanctions the court can impose........the trial can't be about money at least as it relates to Shero who is penniless, Fr Engelhardt, a deceased priest who, as an oblate priest, took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and lived up to those vows his entire life and of course, Avery, now pleading poverty though he certainly had money tucked away from his family (avery labels) when he copped a plea for a sweetheart deal from Seth Williamsl for a crime he never committed involving danny Gallagher aka Billy Doe #1....he was the key to this entire scam by danny & his family....

      kudos to Fr Engelhardt's lawyers for continuing the fight to clear his name.....they certainly have bigger balls than the Archdiocese in this corrupt city who caved into this extortion .......and then they have the gall to block Engelhardt's lawyers from using their experts.......they are an absolute disgrace.....

      Delete
    2. If he doesn't show, a quick settlement from all three possible with no cash exchanged. Lawyer cannot risk his reputation being besmirched by sanctions. Settlement is devil of details, could be to "acknowledge" abusing Billy Doe and that will be strenuously objected to by lawyers for Shero, Englehardt. Avery will benefit from this as he is no longer paying an lawyer to represent him. This could end faster than we had anticipated once it happens and once it is clear that fault is not admitted by the three convicted priests and teacher, it could lead to an early parole. and Englehardt's good name cleared legally.

      Delete
    3. And this could tangentially apply to Lynn by giving him relief in the form of a parole from his six year sentence if he does not admit any fault in the Billy Doe case of fabricated allegations. Release on parole much easier to achieve than to get a court to free Lynn as there will always be people on the DA who will think that they got their man, Lynn found guilty without taking into consideration the kind of kangaroo court they participated in, aided and abetted by the infamously corrupt Judge Sarmina. The AOP paid off Billy Doe and his lawyers and they would be expecting that their man, Lynn would be freed on parole for the rest of his term.

      No winners here and you cannot have that kind of a kangaroo court in this country.

      Delete
  10. This is for a lawyer to answer and not one of the many Monday quarterbacks. Since Lynn was convicted of child endangerment in Pennsylvania will he be required to register on the sex offender list upon his parole or release ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When people are sentenced as sex offenders, they will be required to register as such once out of jail which includes showing new address if moved from current living site. Lynn was not convicted as a sex offender, only convicted of child endangerment. At sentencing, he was sentenced to a prison term up to six years, but no requirement that he register as a sex offender once freed from prison was ever imposed on his sentence. Lynn never had a physically abusive relationship with children, only handled the transfer of priests, arranged for their treatment when necessary and that was it.

      To retroactively require that Lynn register as a sex offender would be like having a referee eject the football quarterback from the game for causing an offside penalty to be charged against the team a few minutes after penalizing the team with a five yard penalty for off sides. The referee cannot do this and the judge cannot do this to Lynn by requiring him to register as a sex offender years later after he was sentenced to prison.

      Delete
  11. There's been some wrinkles in the independent medical examination of Billy Doe that I updated at the end of the story. Apparently, the judge has given Billy another 30 days to cooperate with her order.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Perhaps Billy is in another detox facility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. one can only wish he's relapsed, he's nothing but a scam artist...

      Delete
  13. And if Billy is? I say good for him for trying. May he will be successful this time! Fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or could be a settlement may be soon at hand which would obviate the need for Billy Doe to get examined by psychiatrist retained by the Englehardt estate. The settlement may well be a nominal $1 settlement with nothing attributed to Englehardt's actions toward Billy Doe as the cause in order to preserve Englehardt's reputation so passionately defended by his estate. That could be the reason for the judge extending the deadline another 30 days to allow both parties to save face and agree on a settlement to end the civil case.

      Delete
  14. On Monday, see update No. 2, Judge Allen approved lawyer Clark Hill's withdraw from the case, so Ed Avery will represent himself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whatever idiot on here assumed Avery has ties to Avery Labels (& has family money stashed away)....wrong! No relation!
    This man sold everything he owned to pay for his defense of a crime he DID NOT commit.....and now has to hear the endless lies of a drug addict "victim" whom he NEVER EVEN MET. Great system we have here....

    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 © 2016 BigTrial.net

Privacy Policy: BigTrial.net does not distribute, share or sell email addresses, or any other personal information received from this website.