Sunday, January 3, 2016
The state Supreme Court on New Year's Eve turned down an appeal by Bernard Shero in the Billy Doe case.
On June 12, 2013, Shero, then 51, was sentenced by Judge Ellen Ceisler to 8 to 16 years in jail after he was convicted by a jury of rape of a child, attempted rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault.
The Supreme Court decision means that Shero is out of appeals on the state court level. In a 36-page decision last March, a panel of three Superior Court judges ruled that seven appeals issues raised by Shero, a former Catholic school teacher, "are either waived or devoid of merit."
The state Supreme Court decision was more succinct. In a one-page order, the court declared, "And now, this 31st day of December, the Petition for Allowance of Appeal is DENIED." The only other sentence on the page mentioned that "Justice Eaken did not participate in the decision of this matter." That's because Justice Eaken is presently serving a suspension with pay in the "porngate" scandal pending a trial by a judicial ethics board.
Shero was tried along with the late Father Charles Engelhardt who was sentenced by Judge Ceisler sentenced to 6 to 12 years in jail after being convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor and indecent assault.
The 67-year-old priest died in prison in November, 2014. Engelhardt also lost his appeals in state Superior Court as well as state Supreme Court.
On Aug. 19, the state Supreme Court in a one-page order on the Engelhardt appeal declared that "Petition for leave to file Petition for Allowance of Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc is DENIED."
With Engelhardt's death, his case is over. Shero's lawyer, Burton A. Rose, could not immediately be reached on whether he plans any federal appeals in the case.