Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lead Detective In "Billy Doe" Case Didn't Believe Billy

Former ADA Mariana Sorensen [left] 
By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

The lead detective in the "Billy Doe" sex abuse case didn't find the former altar boy credible after repeatedly confronting him over numerous factual discrepancies in his many conflicting stories.

And when Detective Joseph Walsh voiced his doubts about the D.A.'s star witness to a top prosecutor, she didn't want to hear about it.

"You're damaging my case, you're hurting my case," is what Thomas A. Bergstrom, a lawyer for Msgr. William J. Lynn, claimed that former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen said about the star witness whose testimony sent three priests and a former Catholic school teacher to jail.

"You can't turn a blind eye to that," Bergstrom said when he asked Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright to invoke the ultimate penalty for prosecutorial misconduct, namely dismissing a retrial of the criminal case against Msgr. Lynn scheduled to begin May 30th.

During a three-hour pre-trial hearing today, Bergstrom and Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington battled over what Walsh and Sorensen allegedly said to each other years ago behind closed doors in the D.A.'s office. Meanwhile, the detective, now retired, was outside the courtroom pacing the hallway. 

Blessington told the judge that Sorensen denied ever saying anything about hurting her case to Walsh. That prompted Bergstrom to say that the judge now had a reason to hold a hearing. So that Bergstrom could "cross-examine Mariana Sorensen and see who's telling the truth."

The judge obliged by setting a 2 p.m. hearing for next Wednesday at which time former Detective Walsh, and presumably former ADA Sorensen, will testify. It would be a fitting climax to a bizarre seven-year old sex abuse case that now qualifies as a classic fake news story.

While he's got Sorensen on the witness stand under oath, Bergstrom should ask her about the 20 factual mistakes in the 2011 grand jury report that Sorensen allegedly wrote, where the sworn testimony of grand jury witnesses was blatantly rewritten to fit bogus and since disproven story lines cooked up by the D.A.'s office under Seth Williams.

"Billy Doe" is a grand jury's pseudonym for Danny Gallagher, a 28-year-old former altar boy who claimed that back during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years at St. Jerome's parish in Northeast Philadelphia, when Gallagher was 10 and 11 years old, he was repeatedly raped in three separate attacks by two priests and a school teacher.

 At a 2012 trial, Msgr. Lynn was convicted by a jury of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, namely Gallagher, by allowing former priest Edward V. Avery to return to ministry and allegedly rape the altar boy.

Avery, now serving 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison for raping Gallagher, pleaded guilty on the eve of a 2012 trial when he was a co-defendant with Lynn. But Avery ultimately recanted his plea bargain, testifying in court a year later hat he had never even met Gallagher. And that the only reason he had pleaded guilty was that he was 69 years old at the time, facing a 13 1/2 to 27 years sentence, and didn't want to die in jail.

The other defendants in the case include Bernard Shero, Gallagher's former homeroom teacher, who's doing 8 to 16 years in prison. At the pre-trial hearing today, Jeff Ogren, Shero's appeals lawyer, was sitting with Detective Walsh.

Another defendant, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, died in prison back in 2014 after serving nearly two years of a 6 to 12 year sentence for allegedly abusing Gallagher.

The Defendant
The other defendant is Msgr. Lynn, convicted in 2012 of endangering the welfare of a child, namely Gallagher. As demonstrated many times on this blog, however, there is simply no reason to believe Danny Gallagher.

First, he told several fantastic and completely contradictory stories to authorities. Then, his voluminous medical records from some 28 drug clinics, doctors and rehab hospitals revealed that before Gallagher claimed to have been raped at 10 and 11 by two priests and the school teacher, he had falsely claimed he was: molested at 6 by a friend; sexually abused at 6 by a neighbor; sexually assaulted at 7 by a teacher; molested at 8 or 9 by a friend; and sexually assaulted at 9 by a 14-year-old.

Gallagher also falsely claimed to his doctors to be a professional surfer and a paramedic.

A forensic psychiatrist who interviewed Gallagher for nearly three hours in 2015 concluded that Gallagher had lied and provided unreliable information about his past drug abuse, and alleged sex abuse. Gallagher also flunked a personality test.

The forensic psychiatrist who examined him concluded that Gallagher was manipulative, paranoid, passive-aggressive and delusional. That's in addition to being a former heroin addict with six arrests for drugs and retail theft under his belt, including one bust where he was caught red-handed with 56 bags of heroin stuffed into his pants.

In a civil deposition, when Gallagher was quizzed about the many contradictions in his personal history and past claims of sex abuse, Gallagher responded by stating he couldn't remember more than 130 times

In spite of his complete lack of credibility, however, Charles J. Chaput, the Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia, ultimately rolled over in a  civil suit and gave Gallagher what was supposed to be a confidential cash settlement of $5 million.

That's not the only outrage committed in Gallagher's name.

Indeed, The Philadelphia Inquirer, after seven years, still pretends that Gallagher is a sex abuse "victim" and has yet to print his real name. Amazingly, the Inky, after continuously and publicly hanging the defendants out to dry for seven years, still calls him Billy Doe in print. Even though Gallagher has been outed on this blog for years, as well as on the cover of Newsweek, the front page of National Catholic Reporter, and in the Northeast Times.

But at the Inky, Danny Gallagher is still cloaked in the sainted anonymity of a presumed victim of sex abuse.

Meanwhile, the lead defendant in the case has already been punished.

Lynn, who is facing a retrial of his chid endangerment case, served 33 months of his minimum 3 to 6 year sentence, plus 18 months of house arrest. While the conviction of Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, was overturned twice on appeals.

The first time Lynn's conviction was overturned, the state Superior Court ruled that the state's original child endangerment law did not apply to Lynn, an opinion shared in print by former District Attorney Lynne Abraham as well as a 2005 grand jury report.

The second time the case was overturned, the state Superior Court ruled that the trial judge, M. Teresa Sarmina, unfairly put the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on trial during the Lynn case, by admitting as evidence 21 supplemental cases of sex abuse that didn't involve the monsignor, dating back to 1948, three years before the 66-year-old Lynn was born.

At the pre-trial hearing today in the Lynn retrial, the lawyers sparred over the D.A.'s plans to introduce at the retrial some 12 supplemental cases of sex abuse. Bergstrom, however, argued to the judge that all 12 cases should not be admitted as evidence because they had nothing to do with Lynn.

Bergstrom told the judge that Detective Walsh decided  back in 2012 that Gallagher wasn't a credible witness when he was doing trial prep sessions before Lynn's first trial. One of those sessions, Bergstrom told the judge, lasted three to four hours.
The $5 Million Man

During pre-trial prep, Bergstrom told the judge, "Walsh confronted Gallagher with numerous contradictions in his version of the events involving Avery, Engelhardt, and Shero."

"Faced with this inconsistencies/contradictions, Gallagher either provided no explanation [remained silent] or offered that he was high on drugs," Bergstrom said.

Bergstrom then highlighted five of those factual discrepancies that Walsh confronted Gallagher over, including:

--Gallagher claimed that he was a member of the church's bell choir maintenance crew during fifth grade when Avery began abusing him. But "from his investigation, Walsh knew that Gallagher was not in the bell crew in fifth grade, as only eighth grade boys made up the bell crew," Bergstrom said. [This fact was borne out at trial by Catholic school yearbooks as well as the testimony of several teachers].

-- Gallagher claimed that when he served as an altar boy at a 6:15 Mass in 1998, he "was assaulted over the course of four to five hours" in the sacristy by Father Engelhardt, who had supposedly locked all the doors and taken off all his clothes. However, Walsh "knew from his investigation that Gallagher did not serve" any 6:15 a.m. Mass during 1998, because of the meticulous calendars kept by his mother that tracked all the church dates for her two altar boy sons, Danny Gallagher and his older brother, James. Danny Gallagher also claimed that he walked to church from his home after the attack by Engelhardt. But during Walsh's investigation, Gallagher's older brother told the detective that his parents always drove him and his brother to and from Mass, even though they lived less than a mile from the church. Walsh also knew that an assault after Mass in the sacristy wasn't possible because of the presence of a sexton, who was usually the last person to leave and lock up the church after Mass.

-- Gallagher claimed that he was assaulted by Avery following a funeral Mass that the priest and altar boy allegedly served at. But Walsh knew from his review of church records that Avery had never officiated at a funeral Mass during the year that Gallagher claimed he was assaulted.

-- Gallagher claimed he was high on drugs when he first reported his alleged abuse to a drug counselor and an archdiocese social worker in 2009, and that's why he told fantastic and bloody stories of violent sex abuse and vicious threats and beatings by his assailants, all since recanted. But Walsh knew from his investigation that both the drug counselor and the archdiocese social worker had said that Gallagher wasn't high on drugs. Indeed, the social worker interviewed Gallagher moments after Gallagher's father, a Philadelphia police sergeant, had driven his son home from a drug clinic.

-- Gallagher claimed that he would switch altar boy assignments with other altar boys when he saw a list posted in the church to avoid Avery and Engelhardt after they allegedly raped him. But Walsh knew from his investigation that altar boy Mass schedules "did not contain the names of the priests." And that the list of priests serving Mass was not posted in the church, but in the rectory, where only the priests could see it.

That's why, Bergstrom said, Walsh "does not believe Danny Gallagher," because Gallagher "wasn't credible." But when Walsh reported his doubts to Sorensen, she replied, "You're hurting my case," or "You're damaging my case," Bergstrom told the judge.

None of the particulars of Walsh's repeated questioning of Gallagher, nor Gallagher's responses [or lack thereof] were ever reported to the defense, Bergstrom told the judge. Had they been, the defense would have cross-examined Detective Walsh as a witness at Lynn's first trial, Bergstrom said.

The defense also didn't know about Sorensen's lack of interest in Danny Gallagher's lack of credibility, Bergstrom said.

"What Walsh was telling Sorensen," Bergstrom said, was that the prosecution's "primary and only witness" wasn't credible. And that Sorensen "had to know or should have known," Bergstrom said, that "she had every reason to believe that he [Danny Gallagher] is lying."

"Putting a witness on trial" who you know is likely to lie is against the code of ethics for an officer of the court, Bergstrom said. "He is the only damn witness in this case," Bergstrom said about Gallagher. And  Sorensen had to know that "her primary witness is not credible."

ADA Pat Blessington
"If the prosecution knows that this witness is likely to lie," Bergstrom told the judge, "They've got a serious problem."

The problem was that Detective Walsh knew that Danny Gallagher's stories were "incredible," Bergstrom said. And without Danny Gallagher, Bergstrom said, "there is no case" against Msgr. Lynn.

When it was his turn to speak, Assistant District Attorney Blessington told the judge that Bergstrom had misstated the facts of the case.

Lynn was accused of endangering the welfare of a child, Blessington reminded the judge. By placing abusive priests back in service, Blessington said, the crime of child endangerment was committed before "Avery ever laid eyes on Danny Gallagher."

Lynn knew as far back as 1992 that Ed Avery was abusive to children, Blessington said. At the clinic where Avery was evaluated, they told Lynn to keep Avery away from adolescents, Blessington said.

"The crime is putting a time bomb out there," Blessington told the judge about Lynn's handling of Avery. "It doesn't have to go off." But in his next breath, Blessington contended that Gallagher had been "horribly abused."

Blessington also pointed out that at Lynn's first trial, the defendant testified that he only knew of one child who had been abused by a priest under Lynn's supervision, and stated that victim was Danny Gallagher. Lynn also stated at the trial that he was sorry that Gallagher was abused, Blessington said.

"His own client admitted it," Blessington yelled at Bergstrom. During today's hearing, Blessington conceded that he may have gotten too emotional about the Lynn case, which he prosecuted the first time. At today's hearing, while he talked, the prosecutor's hands were shaking, and so were the papers he was holding.

Lynn was found guilty at the first trial, Blessing told the judge, as were Engelhardt and Shero at a second sex abuse trial. Avery pleaded guilty. What more proof do you need that crimes were committed, Blessington argued.

"It's crazy, Your Honor," Blessington told the judge.

When it came to Detective Walsh, Blessington didn't dispute any of the facts as put forth by Bergstrom. Instead, Blessington argued that Walsh's opinion that Danny Gallagher wasn't credible was simply that, just an opinion. 

"So what" if the detective didn't believe Gallagher, Blessington said.

"Sorry Joe," Blessington told Walsh, a former teammate who wasn't in the room. "Your opinion doesn't count."

Evaluating a witness's credibility is the duty of jurors, Blessington said. And they found Lynn guilty, and they found Engelhardt and Shero guilty after they listened to the testimony of Danny Gallagher.

About the evidence in the cases, "We turned everything over," Blessington argued. That's why the defense knows about all the contradictions in Gallagher's stories.

At the end of today's hearing, the judge told the lawyers that hopefully by next week's hearing, she would have a decision on Bergstrom's motion to dismiss the case. As well as Bergstrom's motion to not admit any supplemental cases of sex abuse as evidence against Lynn.

The Msgr. Lynn Retrial: A Seth Williams Production
At today's hearing, Bergstrom argued that it would only take a week to retry the Lynn case, if the court would limit it to just the alleged rape of Gallagher by Avery. But if the district attorney is allowed to present a dozen other crimes involving other people, Bergstrom said, the trial could take three or four weeks.

It was Bergstrom's contention that admitting any other crime as evidence in the case, including Avery's guilty plea, would only serve to infer Lynn's guilt, as well as to bolster Gallagher's lack of credibility.

The district attorney argued, however, that they want to include a dozen other cases to show a pattern of behavior in the archdiocese, namely covering up sex abuse. And if the judge agrees to admit those dozen cases, the retrial of Lynn could take up to four to six weeks.

God help us.

The judge also has to rule on a motion by the defense to drag Gallagher's voluminous medical records into the case.

37 comments:

  1. Well I learned something new from this article, nothing to do with the facts of the case,those I know from reading this column. I learned that a code of ethics exists for prosecutors, first I ever heard of such a thing. Code of Ethics imagine that, for prosecutors. Do they know about it? I think it must be optional for officers of the court. It certainly applies to the rest of the world but prosecutors, did Bergstrom say it with a straight face, how did he keep his composure. Code of Ethics, that's a good one.

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    1. Explanatory comment to Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8 states, “A prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate. This responsibility carries with it specific obligations to see that the defendant is accorded procedural justice and that guilt is decided upon the basis of sufficient evidence.”

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    2. Thank you for the explanation of the code, as none of these guidelines are followed by prosecutors, the rules seem hollow indeed. To my knowledge ,other than the prosecutor in Texas that sent Michael Morton to jail for 25 years for the murder of his wife he did not commit, I don't know of any others that we disciplined.

      Minister of justice, seekers of the truth are just comic book super hero lines. Prosecutors lie during all aspects of an investigation, trial and sentencing. With most of the media turning a blind eye and no accountability, there is not much hope.

      Most media types salivate at reporting about defendants misfortunes, never taking into account that most of the "crimes" were invented my these ministers of justice.

      If reporters did any investigative reporting as they profess to do, they would see very quickly that what they are reporting is not accurate, not even close to being correct. Its the prosecutions idea of correct.

      Peoples lives are at stake, ignoring obvious facts is just inexcusable, but unless it happens to you or a loved one, no one really cares, lest of all the media.

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  2. Blessington states that "evaluating a witnesses credibility is the duty of the jurors".I find that remark very offensive since the prosecution held Billy Doe out as a credible witness, putting him forth as an abuse victim.

    When is it time to stop soldiering on and admit defeat, the prosecution used every means at their disposal to convict ,if Sorensen, Blessington and Williams knew they should all be held accountable for their part of the deception. They all need to be removed from office.

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    1. We need a retired jurist with impeccable credentials to replace Judge Bright and for the trial to be relocated to a suburban district. Tthe newly appointed retired jurist will quickly go through the back loaded skew of motions filed by the defense and grant motions that will bar 21 supplemental cases from being introduced at the trial, allow the introduction of Billy Doe's medical history and depositions which will gut the prosecutions case for a conviction and then rule in favor of dropping the case for once and all and bar any future prosecutor from ever bringing the case back against Lynn.

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  3. The Inky quickly closed the comments after I posted and rebutted another poster's irrational post without any creditable facts. Judge could have ruled against the prosecutor on the spot by granting defense motion to dismiss which would have ended the whole case, but she chose to give both sides 6 days to next Wednesday from yesterday's hearing while claiming she needed the additional time to consider all requests made at the hearing. For Blessing ton to request the additional 21 supplemental cases added to the docket knowing full well they had nothing to do with Lynn as was pointed out by Bergsrom is highly insulting behavior for any lawyer to consider doing but asked in order to convince the judge to consider allowing the trial to be held. This is a negotiating ploy in talks between the prosecutor and defense attorney .

    Most likely scenario, judge is hinting for both sides to settle. She is the same judge who made a young woman in the gay beating case serve the FULL 6 months jail sentence without any credit for good behavior customarily granted in most cases and that woman did not throw any punches! Nobody wants to take a chance with the judge in the upcoming trial on Jay 30th .

    What the prosecutor will offer will be the same plea bargain Father Brennan took to avoid the risk of being convicted in a trial. It will be the equivalence of a traffic ticket and Bergsstrom and Lynn will take a one year probation sentence to kill the trial. Nobody wants a trial knowing full the kind of judge on the bench presiding over a kangaroo trial like her sister judges did.

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    1. If Blessington wants to submit 21 supplemental cases to the docket that have nothing to do with Lynn, why cant't Bergstrom submit evidence from the National Registry of Exonerations on the conviction of innocents by prosecutors , he only has to list the section called " official misconduct" pertaining to prosecutors that misused their power to get a conviction or simple google all those exonerated in the last few years would give any jury or judge pause for concern.

      Prosecutors that knowingly send innocents to jail should absolutely have to serve the same sentence as the defendant was given, no stating that they still believe the defendant guilty when they hid evidence, its not acceptable. Its no less than cold and calculated greed.

      I don't know how this is acceptable to the INKY, in this new world order,are they going to side with the oppressor or the oppressed . So far their actions have suggested they are siding with the oppressors. The writing is on the wall, prosecutors lie to get indictments, they hide evidence and they use your paper to spread their lies.
      The public is crying for change, and the INKY has chosen to turn its back on defendants instead of standing and fighting for our rights .

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  4. You forgot to mention that avery said he was broke even though it was established he bought a property for a dollar and then sold the same property for one million dollars.

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  5. When does all of the madness stop? After following this; who has any faith in out judicial system? Sarmina and Ceissler have made a mockery of these cases yet not held accountable - Sarmina is now running roughshod on the Salvation Army building collapse case and Ceissler now wants to run for Commonwealth Court. Will we be adding Judge Bright to this list?

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  6. Where was Joe Walsh 5 years ago? Why was he not on the stand for the defense in the original two trials?

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    1. great question...

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    2. Joe Walsh was working for the DA's office then, and he was probably afraid that - if he came forward officially - Seth, the Chunky Cheshire Cat would find some excuse to either censure or terminate him, resulting in the loss of his pension.

      I wonder if Ralph was referring to Walsh as one of the 'sources' in a much earlier posting wherein Billy Doe was aptly described as a 'lying sack of shit'?

      I also have to wonder if jurors in the Shero / Engelhardt trial might be feeling pangs of conscience these days in the light of all that has transpired recently - the death of Father Engelhardt, the Newsweek article - and now this.

      Maybe like Detective Walsh, one or more of them will have the intestinal fortitude to finally come forward to share exactly how thet convicted two innocent men on the testimony of a junkie.

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    3. Joe Walsh was on the witness stand during the Lynn trial. The defense could have asked him a lot of things but didn't.

      Joe Walsh was on the witness list for the Shero-Engelhardt case but did not appear in the courtroom. The defense could have called him as a witness.

      You're blaming the wrong guy.

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    4. Ralph - thanks for that important clarification. Do you think that Walsh wasn't quizzed because Brady information had supposedly been withheld - in spite of what old shaky Blessington said.

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    5. I am told that Walsh was ready to speak out but nobody took him up on it. Again, anyone who read his witness statements would know that he didn't believe Danny Gallagher. He couldn't when every witness, included his own mother and brother, contradicted his crazy stories.

      The teachers at St. Jerome's knew that Detective Walsh didn't believe Danny Gallagher. Why the defense lawyers in the case didn't do something about that is beyond me.

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    6. Is there reason to suspect that the Archdiocese, as payer of lawyer fees, instructed the lawyers to tread lightly in certain areas? That prospect certainly comes through between the lines. A lawyer with killer instinct could easily have torn Gallagher apart limb by limb and tossed the body parts all over the courtroom.

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    7. That's exactly what I wonder. Lynn was warned by the Judge repeatedly that it was a conflict of interest for him to have the Archdiocese pay for his defense. He understood and accepted that conflict and then was badly defended.

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  7. James, I hope there's no compromise on the Lynn retrial until after Joe Walsh and Sorensen have their day in Judge Bright's courtroom next week

    ...there are implications beyond Fr Lynn's retrial situation, that being the case of Bernard Shero serving a 8 to 16 year sentence in state prison for a crime that was never committed against Danny Gallagher....he might benefit in the form of a new appeal....

    ...and for the Engelhardt family who lost an innocent family member due to this wrongful prosecution and conviction, perhaps knowing there is someone with intimate knowledge of the wrongdoing that was prevalent in the DA's office during the investigation willing to testify would be of some comfort....

    As for Seth, he's not changed, just look at the decision a few days ago not to prosecute someone who punched a Philadelphia Policewoman in broad daylight, all caught on tape...good for John McNesby of the FOP for calling him out....


    District Attorney election's in the near future, Seth already has plenty of opponents, both Dems and Republicans ...shame he doesn't have monies and gifts coming in from his friends and from the Non-profit organization he stole from...he might actually have to get a real job if the voters in this city have any sense and throw him out of office

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  8. This case is typical. A Catholic priest cannot get a fair trial today. The persecution of the Holy Church has already begun. Father Gordon McRae has suffered the same injustice in New Hampshire, serving a life sentence on the testimony of a lying scamer who the dioceses paid off with a large civil payment.

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    1. The Church needs to take action to get its money back and bring the unethical legal people to book - not to mention the falsely accused getting exoneration and compensation. Can't we trust the legal system any more or is it simply a cash cow for lawyers that get rich as the case goes on and on and on and on.....??

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    2. Yes, where he has been for the past 23 years. The men he lives with are fortunate, though, because despite being falsely imprisoned and abandoned by those who should be supporting him, Father Gordon is drawing men to the Lord by his obvious love for the Lord and the men surrounding him.

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  9. Nor could any politician in America receive a fair trial,prosecutors seem to think its acceptable to twist facts to convict them, as they know the public would never be outraged at a conviction even a forced plea.

    The media has created such hatred that its perfectly acceptable to be prejudiced against politicians and to be blatant about their prejudice. There are laws about discriminating against protected classes , I suggest we add politicians to the list.

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  10. Is it true that Judge Bright is 'not so'?

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    1. The judge is looking great compared to Sarmina. She has been fair so far and Blessington already knows that she won't put up with any of the nonsense that Sarmina did.

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  11. Exactly so, Ralph. Judge Bright is giving more than lip service to the presumption of innocence. Sarmina made such egregious errors of law and judgment that alone justified the disdain of the appellate court. Brilliant article.

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  12. Here’s what’s really going on:

    http://www.bigtrial.net/2017/01/lead-detective-in-billy-doe-case-didnt.html

    And Chaput gave this fraud $5 million.


    Ralph, that’s probably about the same amount of parishioners’ cash that he will be spending to block and defeat Rep. Rozzi’s SOL legislative proposals in Harrisburg…………

    Then, there is the big cash Chaput will be spending to develop the valuable commercial real estate in and around archdiocesan HQ and the Basilica in the exclusive Logan Square area…….

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  13. So ... Bergstrom's argument is that he should have deposed Walsh and used his testimony at trial but he didn't because opposing counsel failed to tell him who he should depose and how he should go about doing his job. If Walsh was such an important witness, why didn't Bergstrom naturally depose him regardless of what Bergstrom thought he might or might not say? Bergstrom just seems to be describing his own malpractice.

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    1. No actually Bergstrom's argument is that Walsh's interviews of danny gallagher and obvious conclusions brought to the supervising ADA Sorenson on this prosecution that danny gallagher was a liar as to the alleged assaults weren't provided to him by the Prosecutors office in this case as well as the other cases involving engelhardt and Shero....if it wasn't provided to them "under Discovery" which of course Blessington would have you believe it was, then there might be a valid case for Prosecutorial Misconduct....it might be a stretch but the fact this judge is considering Bergstrom's argument leads me to believe there might be some truth in his argument...

      tomorrow afternoon, retired Detective Joe Walsh and retired ADA Sorenson in court to testify with conflicting stories ...should be interesting ...

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  14. You can depose a prosecution witness in a PA criminal case? News to me, but I'm not the lawyer in the family.

    I don't think it matters though. If Sorenson knew that Walsh would damage Doe's credibility, she had an obligation to disclose any exculpatory facts. I wonder if Walsh's opinion counts as exculpatory. That seems to be the direction Blessington is going - as in it's only a Brady violation if it's exculpatory and an opinion on credibility is not quite evidence.

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  15. It think it's more than just Joe Walsh's opinion never was given to the defense attornies in these cases, it's that the written interviews themselves were never provided to the opposing counsel...if they were part of the trial material assembled by the DA's office and relevant to the case, they should have been in discovery....Bergstrom's position is they weren't there? someone's lying?

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    1. But it still doesn't make sense. If Walsh was on the witness list and Bergstrom knew he was an important witness, why didn't Bergstrom realize that he didn't have the transcripts and, more importantly, that he should himself depose Walsh? Why was Bergstrom completely unprepared when Walsh testified at the trial? As someone above suggested, the Archdiocese may have directed Bergstrom to keep expenses down.

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  16. Given the postponement of the hearing from today to Friday, it looks like both sides are working on a deal to drop the addition of 21 supplemental cases in exchange for a parking ticket deal of Lynn serving one year probation with the trial killed. Same as Father Brennan.I hope this will include a chance for Lynn to file for expunge of criminal record and this could help two priests and a teacher in winning release from prison while clearing the deceased Father Englehardt .

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  17. Any news on what happened today?

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  18. A sworn Police Officer has the duty to bring forth to the courts information in a criminal trial that they know are false. Monsignor Lynn did 33 months in prison because these facts were kept quiet by the detective. Now you come forward with them. Shame on you.

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  19. A couple of comments here. I don't see this case getting settled before trial. The D.A., who is mortally wounded and facing a contested primary, has staked his entire career on this case. Meanwhile, the defendant has nothing to lose. He's already served his sentence. So why would he plead to anything?

    On the sworn police officer front, Joe Walsh doesn't grant media interviews. However, I see a cop's logic showing here. It goes like this: Msgr. Lynn didn't do enough to protect kids so maybe he deserved some time in the slammer. Avery had a prior, and some other people making claims against him, so maybe he belongs in jail too. But Shero and Engelhardt have clean records, and didn't deserve to do time for something that never happened.

    That's the logic I see happening here. A logic that probably doesn't make sense to outsiders.

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  20. As an altar boy I was repeated raped and molested by a Milwaukee archdiocese priest. I try my best to not be biased in these cases. I have serious problems with David Pierre and his reporting. I was asked by someone if you are cut from the same cloth as Pierre and do you just not like the prosecutor?

    I responded, not even close, Cipriano , searches for the truth, he does not tailor it to fit his desired outcome.

    I do not know if Billy Doe was molested or not. But this is America and it is a travesty of justice to convict people when statements and depositions of an accuser show giant holes and discrepancies. When the detective has deep concerns and is shut down.
    I call that exculpatory evidence that is illegally suppressed.

    When prosecutors seek to win instead of seeking justice, willing to break laws to put innocent men in jail, no one should like the prosecutor.

    As victim and rarely a survivor of clergy abuse, my heart bleeds for the innocent priests, one dead and teacher who should never have been convicted. Too many people think clergy abuse victims want vengeance on every accused priest. Most of us want to be treated fairly and see justice served. Not just for us, but for all, even innocent priests. Mr.Cipriano, Thank you for seeking the truth and relentlessly exposing the corruption by the prosecutor. Your reporting has been a giant wake up call and a catalyst for calls for justice. You should be commended for your hard work and care. Thank You!

    ReplyDelete

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