Tuesday, February 5, 2013

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

Last week, the jury in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case sent a note to the judge, asking where was Billy Doe's older brother? And why didn't he honor a subpoena from the defense?

That set off a blame game amongst the judge and lawyers in the case trying to figure out who was responsible for the older brother of the alleged triple-rape victim not showing up in court.

They're still arguing about why the witness didn't show. But now we know why the defense wanted to call Billy's older brother as a witness.

On Jan. 9, 2012, Billy's older brother gave a signed, 14-page statement to Detective Joseph Walsh of the District Attorney's office.

The statement showed that the older brother, then a 26-year-old lawyer, had no direct knowledge about the three alleged rapes of Billy Doe. But the older brother, who had served as an altar boy and a sexton at St. Jerome's, contradicted Billy on several key elements of his story, such as who took care of the sacramental wine after Mass, whether priests were ever alone with altar boys, and whether the doors to the church sacristy at  St. Jerome's were ever kept locked.

It was 10 a.m. on Jan. 9,  2012, when Billy's older brother sat down in the district attorney's office to answer some questions.

Joe Walsh, a tall, white-haired detective, was the lead investigator on the district attorney's archdiocese sex abuse probe since 2002. Walsh is a former homicide cop with an old-school gentlemanly manner who's seen it all. In his handwritten report, Detective Walsh records the questions he poses to Billy's brother, and his responses, in a Q and A format.

"Q. ... Are you related to [Billy]?"

"A. Yes, he's my brother."

"Q. Did you go to St. Jerome's?"

"A. Yes, from kindergarten to 8th grade."

"Q. What high school did you attend?"

"A. Archbishop Ryan. I graduated in 2003."

The brother, three years older, would have been in eighth grade at St. Jerome's, when Billy was in fifth grade. This was back in the 1998-1999 school year when Billy Doe claimed he was raped by Father Charles Engelhardt and Father Edward V. Avery. Billy's older brother graduated from Archbishop Ryan, the same school where Billy Doe, as a freshman, was kicked out for possession of marijuana and a pair of brass knuckles.

"Q. Did you go to college?"

"A. Yes, Kutztown University, I graduated in 2007. I then attended University of Drexel Law School from 2008 to 2011. I passed the bar exam October 2011."

The older brother is the adopted son of a Philadelphia police officer and a registered nurse who lived in Northeast Philadelphia. Billy is the younger biological son of the same parents. The older brother became a lawyer, Billy a drug addict who's been in and out of jail and 23 different drug rehabs.

"Q. When you attended St. Jerome's were you an altar server?"

"A. Yes, from fifth to eighth grade, until I graduated."

"A. Did you serve Mass with Father Avery?"

"A. Yes, I don't remember how frequently -- or what Masses. But I did serve Mass with him."

"Q. Did you serve 6:15 a.m. Mass with Father Avery?"

"A. Yes. My mother or father would always drop me off. After Mass, they would come back and get me because they would have to get ready for work. They didn't stay for Mass. They would come back for me."

Billy lived less than a mile from St. Jerome's, but his parents would drive both sons to and from 6:30 a.m. Mass. That was also the testimony of Billy's mother during the trial. It's hard to believe such an attentive parent would be clueless about her son being raped three times by three grown men while he was just 10 and 11 years old.

"When you served the 6:15 a.m. Mass, who was present?"

"A. The sexton -- There were two older men who were sextons. One of them would unlock the church doors around 6 a.m. The alter servers were supposed to arrive at church about 15 minutes before Mass began -- So, sometimes I arrived at 6 a.m. when the sexton did. When I went in, I would help out setting up the altar for Mass. The sexton would take care of the sacraments. We would go into the sacristy and put our robes on. The priest put on his vestments in a larger room in the sacristy and the altar servers room was separated by a doorway. The door was never closed -- it was blocked by a chair against it. Mass lasted about 20-30 minutes. After Mass, I would take off my robe and leave and meet my mom or dad ... [and they] drove me home. The sexton would remain and clean the altar and put the sacraments away in the sacristy."

Billy Doe's testimony was that he was alone in the sacristy with both Father Engelhardt and Father Avery on several occasions, including two separate rapes. Billy Doe claimed that Father Engelhardt caught him sipping sacramental wine. Billy testified that it was his job as an altar boy to dispose of the unused wine after Mass. But his older brother told Detective Walsh that the sexton took care of the sacraments.

Billy's story is that when Father Engelhardt caught him sipping the wine, he gave him more wine, and then opened a briefcase and showed him pornography. Billy claimed a week after showing him the porn, the priest and altar boy served 6:30 a.m. Mass together. That's when Father Engelhardt, according to Billy, allegedly locked four doors of the sacristy, took off his clothes, ordered the boy to undress and then raped him.

Billy told three different versions of the alleged rape by Father Engelhardt. He told an archdiocese social worker that he had only one "session" with Father Engelhardt, and that the priest forced Billy to engage in oral sex, before flipping the boy over and pounded away for five hours of brutal anal sex. He told a detective in the district attorney's office that he had two sessions with Father Engelhardt, both involving masturbation. He told the grand jury he had one session with Father Engelhardt, and it involved oral sex.

In response, Billy testified during trial that he was high on drugs when he talked to the social worker from the archdiocese, and doesn't remember a thing. The prosecutor in the case, Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti, suggested that the detective got the details wrong when he interviewed Billy.

According to the older brother's statement to Detective Walsh, however, the alleged rape by Father Engelhardt could have never happened. The two sextons were around before and after the altar boys showed up and left. Also, the doors of the sacristy stayed open, including one propped open with a door, the older brother told Detective Walsh.

"Q. Were you ever a sexton?"

"A. Yes. It began when I was in seventh grade. In addition to being an altar server, I was a part-time sexton. We picked up the keys to the church the day before Mass and I would unlock the church doors and set up for Mass. When I was a sexton, there were two additional altar servers who served Mass. After Mass it was my responsibility to clean up and put the sacraments away before I left. My parents would meet me and drive me home."

"Q. Did the church remain unlocked after the 6:15 Mass?"

"A. After Mass when I was the sexton, one of the other sextons would show up and give him the keys before I left. The church remained open."

"Q. What doors would you enter the church through?"

"A. The side doors of the church would be the first ones unlocked and the altar. Altar servers and sexton and priest would enter the church through those doors, then the doors in the rear of the church would be unlocked."

"Q. Were two altar servers assigned to each Mass?"

"A. Always two assigned to each Mass and sometimes three and on Holidays even more."

It was Billy Doe's testimony -- and it was also included in the 2011 grand jury report -- that Father Avery asked Billy to stay after Mass when the boy, then a fifth grader, was helping to set up the bell choir. 

"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," the grand jury report said. "Billy pretended he did not know what Father Avery was talking about, but his stomach turned."

Three teachers from St. Jerome's, however, testified that only eighth graders were allowed on the maintenance crew that set up the bell choir. That's because the bells were heavy, and so were the cases they were carried in, and the tables they sat on.

"Q. Did your brother [Billy] serve 6:15 a.m. Mass?"

"A. Yes."

"Q. Did your parents drive [Billy] to ... Mass and pick him up after Mass?"

"A. Yes. As far as I know. I would stay asleep."

"Q. Did you ever switch Masses -- serving a Mass with [Billy]?"

"A. No."

"Q. How did you find out which Mass you were assigned to be an altar server?"

"A. Father Graham made up the schedule for I believe a month and I would give it to my mom and she put it on the refrigerator. [Billy] and I ... he was an altar server and I was in 8th grade would be on the same list."

[Father Joseph B. Graham, longtime pastor at St. Jerome's, died in 2011.]

"Q. If you wanted to switch serving Mass with another altar server what would you do?"

"A. I would need a good reason for my parents -- If I wanted to switch with someone -- Next I would have to get approval from Father Graham and call the altar server you wanted to switch with."

Billy Doe's testimony was that he frequently switched Masses with other altar servers to get away from Father Engelhardt and Father Avery. But his parents never testified to this, and obviously the older brother didn't recall anything about it either.

The prosecution relied on a former classmate of Billy's at St. Jerome's and his mother to testify that they recalled Billy frequently calling so he could switch Mass with her son.

"Q. Did any priest ever ask you to stay around after Mass and do something for them?"

"A. I was never asked to stay after Mass."

"Q. What would the sexton do after Mass ended?"

"A. He would put the sacraments away -- clean up around the altar -- make sure the candles were put out -- closed windows that were opened. The sexton was the last one out after Mass."

Finally, Detective Walsh got to the money question.

"Q. Did your brother [Billy] ever tell you he was sexually assaulted by Father Avery, Father Engelhardt or Mr. Shero?"


"Q. Were you and [Billy] close as brothers?"

"A. No. He was three years younger than me and we had different friends."

"Q. Did you introduce [Billy] to marijuana?"

A. No."

"Q. Did you smoke marijuana with [Billy]?"

"A. Yes. When he was in high school was the first time we smoked together."

Q. Do you know when [Billy] began smoking marijuana?"

"A. No."

"Q. How old were you when you smoked marijuana with [Billy]?"

"A. I was a senior in high school and he was a freshman."

"Q. Did you do any other drugs with [Billy]?"

"A. No. We smoked weed about a dozen times together. Just weed, no other drugs."

It was Billy Doe's testimony that he began smoking marijuana at 11, and he underwent a drastic personality change after being raped twice as a 10-year-old fifth grader and once as a 11-year-old sixth grader. His parents, however, testified that they noticed a change in Billy when he was a freshman, and got kicked out of Archbishop Ryan.

Detective Walsh asked Billy's older brother about the bell crew.

"Q. Were you a member of the bell crew at St. Jerome's?"

"A. No."

"Q. Did you know if [Billy] was a member of the bell crew? Or choir?"

"A. I don't know for sure."

"... Q. Did you and [Billy] have separate bedrooms?"

"A. Yes."

Let's get back to the argument over why Billy's older brother never appeared in court.

Last week, here's what happened after the judge read the jury's question about what happened with the older brother.

"He was never subpoenaed," Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti told the judge. When defense lawyer Michael J. McGovern started to argue, the judge cut him off, saying, "You sent it first class, you don't know if he got it."

Billy's older brother "never ignored the subpoena," Cipolletti insisted. The prosecutor complained that McGovern deliberately brought up the subpoena in front of the jury during the trial one day by loudly asking if the older brother had shown up in court yet. When McGovern tried to speak again, the judge cut him off again, saying she was "upset when you did that and it's coming back to bite you now."

"There is no proof of service," Cipolletti told the judge. "That's what happens when you do things at the last minute."

The judge said she would write a note back to the jury, saying, "There's no evidence that he received a subpoena."

And that's how it ended before the verdict came in.

McGovern now says that back in late December or early January, the defense sent a subpoena by first-class mail to the older brother's home address, which was also listed as his business address, since he was unemployed at the time.

The older brother has since taken a job for a Pittsburgh law firm, McGovern said he was told by prosecutors. And when the defense inquired about Billy's older brother during the trial, they were told his firm had sent him out of town to Chicago. The defense then tried to schedule the witness to appear in court a few days later, but the judge declined to delay the trial, McGovern said. The defense lawyer says he regrets that Billy's older brother didn't testify.

"It would have been more reasonable doubt upon a mountain of reasonable doubt," said McGovern, who still maintains that his client, Father Engelhardt, is innocent. "But I don't know what this jury would have done with that."


  1. What? If you are defending a person for a felony; and his own brother won't back the accused's story, then you make sure that the subpoena was served properly and you make arrangements to preserve his testimony. This was an outrageous screw up on the part of the defense team; or the defense team talked to the brother and he was more equivocal during prep, and it was a strategic decision." I guess I should have called the brother" is a pretty damning admission to make after your client has been convicted. The defense team had the statement as part of discoverable "Brady" material. I'm sure, given the statement, that the talked to the brother and advised him that they were going to call him; and reviewed the areas they expected him to testify. So, if the anticipated testimony was as helpful as the DA statement, which was produced, why didn't they serve the subpoena personally, get a valid return of service, and get the testimony in. Clearly, the jury was thinking about the brother during deliberations.

    I like to give the defense attorney the benefit of the doubt and not assume that he would be such a screw up so that he failed to present exculpatory evidence. it seems like it may be that he talked to the brother and his recollection was mixed, or he did remember bad stuff about the defendants. Blended natural and adopted families can be funny as far as dynamics. McGovern is simply not this stupid.

    if this is true, it sets up a great ineffective defense of counsel as a basis for appeal. Mailing a subpoena to a critical witness with no return receipt is unforgivable. Not serving it personally with a process server or sheriff is equally unforgivable. Failing to confirm his appearance is outrageous.

  2. KO,

    What is your take on the victim now after reading the above? Could he be a liar? Could innocent men be behind bars because of a fabrication and a jury with preconcieved notions?

    As McGivern said, it would have just been more reasonable doubt on top of a mountain of reasonable doubt. The fix was in from the start.

    1. This only slams the bars to the cell closed even louder. How can attorney forget to be able to call a witness for the defense in such a high profile case. Maybe because his witness would have been no good in defending his client.

      If Brennan is found guilty would that be a jury of "preconceieved notions" ?

    2. Chippy,
      My take is the same as it has been throughout the reporting of the case, which is that if I was a juror, I would not have convicted these two men based upon what was reported in the press. I have said that repeatedly. If I was the judge, there was enough to send it to the jury based upon the evidence presented--credibility is the jury's determination--not the judge's. If I was the defense attorney, and there was a critical witness to my case, I would have subpenaed him properly and secured his appearance or testimony. Under Brady, the DA had to turn these interview notes over to the defense. I haven't heard that there was a failure to disclose the notes, so the issue was either the complete incompetence of two private defense attorney teams, which seems unlikely; or that the defense attorneys interviewed Billy's brother and were uncomfortable with what he would say if he was called to testify, which seems more likely.

      Again, as someone who believes in the system, which perhaps makes me idealistic; but it is certainly more rational than believing that an all powerful creator chose, among others, the clowns running the AOP to be their representatives on earth, guilty pleas have meaning. Accordingly, in light of Avery's plea, I am not as bothered by his inconsistencies with respect to his claims against Avery. For the same reason, again perhaps out of the same belief in due process and the US justice system, which, while flawed, is still better than the alternatives; I tend to believe that the jury had some rational basis for reaching its verdict. That doesn't believe that I would agree with their reasons, just that their reasons were rationally based upon the evidence presented, which did not include the brother's testimony.

      Do I think that a kid with Billy's baggage would lie and make up stories? Yes. I have seen people with much less baggage lie and make up stories in court. Do I think priests are any less likely to lie that the average slob? No. This was a unanimous verdict that was reached relatively quickly in light of the length of trial. It doesn't seem like there were any serious juror holdouts with any doubt, no less reasonable doubt. The church apologists want to claim, without any evidence, that the jurors must have borne secret prejudice against the church or priests. Again, this type of evidence ignoring prejudice is generally disclosed or outed during jury selection or during voir dire. It only takes one juror to hang a jury. So, again, the theory is that 12 church haters got on the jury undetected by two competent defense teams and some thorough voir dire. I'm skeptical. Given the mix of jurors, jury nullification seems unlikely

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. No jurors have come forward to date to shed any light on their decision. Would welcome them to the discussion.

    2. Thanks Ralph! Also. Just curious how you obtained this information? Was this known by the DA?

    3. It was gathered by a member of their staff, Detective Joe Walsh. They knew about it before the defense did.

    4. Ralph,

      I 'reasonably doubt' that any of these jurors are going to come forward to discuss how they came to this absurd conclusion. They clearly left their common sense back home.

  4. C'mon give me a break. The next thing we are going to hear is that defense team dog ate the subpoena.

    What does a return receipt signature card cost ? $6.00
    Can you imagine being represented by this attorney.
    Does not law school 101 teach if you subpoena someone to have proof they received it ?
    The defense team realized that the victims brother was going to be no help to their client

    I am now interested in reading how this will be the fault of the DA's office or anyone involved in the prosecution of these abusers.

    1. If, "The defense team realized that the victims brother was going to be no help to their client,"
      why would McGovern deliberately bring up the subpoena in front of the jury during the trial one day by loudly asking if the older brother had shown up in court yet, as detailed in Ralph's post?

      I smell a rat.
      A very, very large rat.

    2. justone1618

      Hey! Someone who attended the trial told me today that one of the jurors appeared to be nodding off...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...!

  5. Ralph, just curious as to why you are still using the word alleged in reference to Billy.

    1. Possibly the dumbest question I've read on this blog.

    2. 12 jury members thought he was, and that's all that counts.

      Have a nice day.

  6. If you examine St. Jerome's web site, the parish has at least 2 masses scheduled on any given day. For a parish the size of St. Jerome's I'd be willing to bet that this was the case in 1998-99. The 5 hour anal rape always seemed highly improbable to me. I guess masses get cancelled.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Does anyone realize that, even though Billy has been arrested approximately 8 times for drugs and weapons, including being out on bail right now for the 56 bag of heroin case, that he is free to roam the United States as he pleases. I thought our justice system had in place that if a person, especially with this kids track record, was out on bail for a criminal charge, they were confined to the state of that charge if they were a resident at the time of the crime. So if he testified he is not in treatment in Florida any more, and working at his uncles landscaping business, why is he not required to be in PA. Can anyone smell a backdoor deal coming for this criminal? We'll see soon.

    1. "After Father MacRae was sent to prison (effectively for life), Thomas Grover received a $195,000 settlement in 1997."
      Now I know you are delusional, or you are David Pierre. Fr. MacRae admitted to being a pedophile to therapists in New Hampshire prior to spending over a year at "Club Ped" in New Mexico with the Paracletes. He had prior sex offenses with juveniles before the Grover conviction and pleaded guilty to other offenses after his conviction. Even before he became a diocesan priest, psychologists recommended that he not be admitted to seminary and it was only changed to conditional after there was an intervention and a "second" opinion. He also admitted to having sex with a teenaged boy in an interview to a WSJ reporter but claimed that the boy seduced him. MacRae is a sad guilty serial sex offender and anyone who defends him or takes up his cause is completely divorced from reality, or hasn't really studied the record in that case. His recent filing for a new trial almost borders on the ones done by prisoners in crayon, it is so weak. The system is not always perfect; and the appeals in this recent case involving "Billy" have not been exhausted; and we will see; but MacRae is a laughable cause. Mumia is less guilty than MacRae--and he is completely guilty.

    2. Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist on The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, published a two-part article exposing the clearly unjust trial and imprisonment of Father Gordon MacRae - “A Priest’s Story” (April 27/28, 2005).
      Attorney Robert Rosenthal has filed a new-trial motion for Father MacRae, whose case is sponsored by the National Center for Reason and Justice. NCRJ works for child-protective laws based on science, fairness, and good sense, and supports people who are falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children.

    3. Hi David Pierre. That's the same article where MacRae admitted to a sexually abusing a teen who he shared a father relationship with, but he claimed the teen seduced him. Mumia has a bunch of articles all over the world proclaiming his innocence. The record against MacRae is overwhelming but I addressed this tin Ralph's other blog. The new trial motion is a joke. I've read the actual motion. It's comical and nothing contained therein would form the basis of a new trial

    4. kopride - are you saying that justone1618 is indeed the famous MediaReport journalist David Pierre ? It would explain so much.

    5. Yes. And Chippy, and Franken. Chippy and Justone are Liveblog accounts set up on the same day last month, and Franken is another recently created blogger account. The MacRae stuff is identical to stuff Dave posted during the Lynn trial on Ralph's blog.

    6. Kop- I wrote you yesterday, I somehow deleted it. I am my own person. For you to assume that chippy and juston and I are the same person, must be something you have done with all the time you have on your hands. More of your "expertise." I do check this site, but would never have the time to come up with aliases. I work full-time, have a family, and more importantly a life. Did you ever think that this trial was on the news the past few weeks and maybe people were looking up more details and came across Ralph's site?
      And joe- you are correct to say there was a juror caught snoozing on more than one occasion, but I would like to add there were a few jurors napping throughout the trial. 2 during Billy's testimony and his dads.

    7. I have one other important question. Are you telling me the comments that justone1618 and chippy111 especially at 10:08 this morning is nothing more than David Pierre asking HIMSELF to share information about Billy, and at 9:19 it is Pierre telling himself he made a good point.

      Then if you read below is it Pierre blaming/defending his other personality for a comment that he wrote, I mean did'nt write I don't know now.

      I'm sorry if I offend anyone but I'm going to p*%@s myself laughing.

    8. I have no idea who David Pierre is. I live and work in the philadelphia area, went to catholic school in the philadelphia suburbs from 1st - 12th grade.

      Keep spinning the facts of this case if you want, but these men were part of a big conspiracy. The lives of these men, their families, and friends are ruined on the lies of Billy.

      Don't you think it kind of odd that the brother, who is a lawyer of all things, was not present ONCE in court to support his brother, mother, or father when they testified in court. Or just to support the family going through, alledgedly, an exposure of child abuse by his little brother. This isn't a petty theft, this is CHILD ABUSE. Don't you think its odd that he was not there, with all of knowledge being an 8th grader, king of the school, during the year these things happened? Or does the brother know he could lose his law license if he lied on the stand to go along with this story, which is a lie, ultimately ruining everything he worked for in school over the past decade. He made it so he would not help anyone, although he knows the truth that this did not happen.

    9. OK, you are not David Pierre, and grew up in Philly, but you spontaneously reference an obscure priest abuse case out of New Hampshire that is David Pierre and his few right wing conservative catholic's pet cause; and then reference an article from several years ago. I've looked at the actual record in that case because Pierre kept claiming that the earlier trial was similar; and I read that article you referenced where MacRae admitted to abusing another teen but not the one who was involved in his conviction. I also read the reports from the NH therapists who stated that he was a pedophile and then the Priest-Paraclete in NM who felt differently. He used a defense attorney from NM who had helped him out of a similar sex offense jam in NM. He pleaded guilty to multiple other sex offenses in addition to the one he was convicted for. I've read the filing for a new trial which borders on the cartoony frivolous things that jailhouse lawyers file. MacRae is guilty. Mumia at least was not a serial murderer although he did kill Officer Faulkner for reasons we will never quite know. I consider Mumia's supporters less delusional than MacRae's. MacRae was red flagged way back in seminary days and should have never been accepted as a priest.

      But, yes, I think it is very significant that Billy's brother was not at the trial; and did not testify on his behalf. If I was on the jury, His absence would have added to my own personal doubt about Billy's story. Again, I would not have convicted these two men based upon the evidence that Ralph and others reported. But the brother's absence could mean a lot of things. Sandusky's son first gave exculpatory evidence in his favor and then changed his story during the trial. I can't get past McGovern not serving the subpoena properly if he was likely to testify consistently with his statement. I have shared my other scenario, which is that he is an adopted kid who probably does not have any real strong affinity with his younger drug addicted brother who caused his family nothing but personal pain. He is now a lawyer and probably doesn't want to get involved in this sideshow. My guess is that he made it very clear to both sides that he would not be cooperative if he was called to testify.

    10. I thought I posted a reply last night, but I do not see it. I will post again.

      I am not 'justone1618.' I am not an anonymous coward, kopride. I post under my name or web site.

      As far as the MacRae case, the primary accuser has ADMITTED that he made up the abuse to extract $$ from the Church. That is a serious injustice.



    11. "As far as the MacRae case, the primary accuser has ADMITTED that he made up the abuse to extract $$ from the Church. That is a serious injustice."
      That's simply a lie. The Motion cites a witness(es) who claims that Grover admitted that he made up the story. Grover himself has never supplied an affidavit or signed a statement admitting that he made the story up. As I said, I read the motion for a New Trial.http://ncrj.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/MacRae-brief-rf-12.7.11.pdf. In NH, like every other state in the country, does not allow multiple levels of out of court hearsay to impeach a witness. he doesn't cite a single case out of NH or Anywhere, that establishes that the evidence is admissible or that other courts have admitted extrinsic evidence. Indeed, he cites two evidence rules that are completely inapplicable. The 608 reputation rule only allows the alleged witnesses to testify that he has a reputation as a liar, it doesn't allow for extrinsic evidence. The second exception, 804(b)(3), requires that the declaration (Grover) be unavailable; and that the statement be corroborated, neither of which is true here. Accordingly, it is like every other bogus jailhouse petition claiming that someone has come forward who heard the accuser admit something or change the story.

  9. The other scenario to jury nullification based upon Romish prejudice is that somebody on the jury had first hand or claimed knowledge of these priests or their reputation in the community. Apparently Engelhardt's relative wanted to testify that he attempted to have sex with him. Avery seems to have been a known problem in the community even before Billy's accusations; and Shero for some unknown reason was considered a pervert by the neighborhood kids. These are small neighborhoods and communities and everybody knows each other. Even as a kid, you knew the priests and neighbors to avoid, sometimes based upon good reasons, sometimes based upon neighborhood legends or rumors, which may be true or untrue. So the question is whether enough of these jurors could have been influenced by one or more juror claiming special or inside knowledge of these defendants. If that's the case, it could explain why the jury reached a verdict consistent with the trial evidence. They reached a verdict consistent with what they were discussing in the jury room. I am more inclined to believe in jurors reaching a verdict based upon their own community knowledge of these folks, than raw anti-catholic prejudice. it is extremely likely that all twelve were catholic haters and simply out to get some priest who they did not know. But everybody knows everybody and their business in these neighborhoods; and it usually stays in the neighborhood. If these guys were perverts, everybody knew. At the same time, folks like this should have never sat on the jury, but they do sometimes, particularly in Philly. It is far more probable that a few of the jurors "knew" something compelling about the defendants, true or untrue; then 12 people simply convict two men out of prejudice. It would also explain the eerie silence of the actual jurors versus the alleged "alternate."

    The same is true for Billy's brother. He clearly didn't want to testify and gave an unhelpful statement to the DA's investigator virtually guaranteeing that he would not be called as a prosecution witness. Reluctant witnesses do the same thing when interviewed by the other side. Billy might have told them that "if you call me, I know some stuff about one or more of the defendants." In other words, we don't really know why Billy's brother gave an adverse statement to his brother and then managed to arrange himself far outside the subpoena power of the court while this trial took place. He wasn't there to support his brother or parents; and he wasn't available for the defense to call. Mailing a subpoena to a lawyer, which Billy's brother is, is almost a guarantee that he is not going to show. He would know that it wasn't good service. And lawyers are on the web as far as their business address. There is no reason he could not have been easily personally served at work.

    Billy, a guy with baggage, knew enough to accuse the folks at the parish with baggage of their own. Clearly Avery had some baggage and the other two may have had some too. A juror will be far more persuaded by their actual experiences than arguments or evidence at trial.

    1. The rogue juror(s) theory is complete speculation; but it is no more or less speculative than thinking that all 12 were consumed by their hatred of the catholic church that they convicted an innocent man. You combine the rogue(s) with some prejudice by a few, and you might get enough critical mass to overcome the doubt of the remaining jurors--even if they started out as the overwhelming majority.

  10. Where do you come up with this stuff ? The cousin is bitter because Engelhardt was indicted for crimes at his precious grade school. Do you really believe that ?

    If your not Dave Pierre it would shock me very very much.

    1. Be shocked, I guess. I am not 'justone1618' (see above).

  11. Dennis Ecker wrote, "So, consider this pay-back if ONE VICTIM will walk away from charges against him to relocate and get his life back together ..."

    So innocent men can be justifiably jailed so a victim can maybe get his life back together?



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