Monday, March 11, 2013

D.A. Rolled Out Red Carpet For Billy Doe

By Ralph Cipriano

On Jan. 28, 2010, Detective Andrew Snyder showed up at Graterford Prison to spring "Billy Doe" out of jail, and transport him to the district attorney's office for questioning.

When Detective Snyder and Billy Doe arrived at the D.A.'s office, Billy's parents were waiting for him. And, according to what Billy Doe subsequently told a grand jury, so was Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen from the Special Investigations Unit. Detective Snyder recorded what happened next on four pages of typed notes. Here's the first two sentences that Snyder wrote:

Picked up [Billy Doe] from Graterford Prison. [Billy Doe's] parents ... were present during the interview.

On Jan. 28, 2010, Billy Doe was 21 years old. The man who claimed that back when he was 10 and 11 years old, he was raped by two priests and a school teacher at St. Jerome's Church, was not under 18 when he visited the district attorney's office, so there was no reason for his parents to sit in on the interview. The longstanding practice in the district attorney's office, and the Philadelphia Police Department, would have been for detectives to interview an adult complainant by himself, and then interview his parents separately.

Did the district attorney's office bend the rules to let Billy's father, a Philadelphia police sergeant, and his mother sit in on the D.A.'s interview with their son? It sure looks like it. Another longstanding practice in the D.A's office, and the Philadelphia Police Department, would have been for detectives to interview Billy in a Q. and A. format on an "Investigation Interview Record," also known as a "483" because of the number on the bottom of the form.

When a detective gets through asking questions, the subject of the interview is usually asked to read over the questions and answers on the "483," make corrections, and finally, sign the document. But that's not what happened on Jan. 28, 2010. Neither Billy nor his parents had to submit to a standard Q. and A. interview on a "483." Instead, the only version of the D.A.'s session with Billy Doe kept for posterity was what Detective Snyder chose to record in his notes.

In the parlance of defense lawyers, the D.A. was giving Billy Doe the "red carpet treatment."And the interview with Mom and Dad sitting in was just the start of it.

What followed was a nonsensical law enforcement crusade that would invert the natural order. A review of police records and formerly secret grand jury transcripts shows that District Attorney Seth Williams' self-described "historic" prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was a classic back-asswards operation -- first came the indictments and the arrests, followed by the investigation.

And what did the district attorney's investigation finally reveal? That just about everything Billy Doe told Detective Snyder and Assistant District Attorney Sorensen on Jan. 28, 2010 was contradicted -- by church records, by his mother's own calendars, by a Q. and A. done with Billy's older brother, his drug counselor, and by Q. and A.'s done with a half dozen witnesses from St. Jerome's, including priests, nuns, teachers and the church music director.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office did not return a request for comment.

Meanwhile, while they were rolling out the red carpet for Billy Doe, the district attorney's office helped their new star witness shop for a new drug rehab. And, according to what Billy Doe testified at the trial of Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, the district attorney also found Billy a lawyer to file a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Thanks to three convictions and a guilty plea at two archdiocese sex abuse trials, Billy Doe's civil case is probably worth millions of dollars. Does that mean the D.A. gets a referral fee?

But there was another more immediate payoff for Billy Doe while he was on the D.A.'s red carpet: most of Billy Doe's legal problems stemming from several previous arrests disappeared after he became the D.A.s' new star witness.

So did a new arrest.

On June 9, 2010 -- five months after the district attorney's red carpet interview with Billy Doe -- the D.A.'s new star witness got busted for possession with intent to distribute 56 bags of heroin. But those charges would subsequently be dropped after the evidence in the case, namely the 56 bags of heroin, was ruled inadmissible. The question is, was Billy Doe's lucky streak in the criminal courts just a coincidence? Or did it have anything to do with being on the D.A.'s red carpet?

The district attorney's investigation of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was based on the dubious premise that Billy Doe was telling the truth. The D.A.'s office did not perform the most basic steps of any investigation. They didn't conduct a routine Q. and A. with Billy on a 483 form. They didn't do a Q. and A. with either of his parents. They didn't go out to interview other witnesses in an attempt to verify any of Billy's allegations. Instead, the D.A.'s office made the decision to take Billy Doe's story and run with it.

It didn't seem to matter that just two weeks before Billy Doe sat down with the D.A. for his red carpet interview, on Jan 14, 2010, Billy Doe got arrested again for retail theft and taking merchandise in Philadelphia. Billy was in jail at Graterford for a parole violation when Detective Snyder picked him up on Jan. 28, 2010.

It also didn't seem to matter that Billy's father the police sergeant didn't initially back his son's stories. When Detective Snyder first contacted Billy's father after Snyder began his investigation on Jan. 21, 2010, the detective recorded this response:

Billy's father "briefly explained that his son had been using drugs since he was about 14 years old and that he has psychological problems." I asked [Billy's father] if he believed his son and [he] responded, "I don't know what to believe." [Billy's father] also commented that he does not know how far [Billy] is willing to pursue this issue.

Meanwhile, in the criminal courts, Billy's past legal problems began to disappear. On March 8, 2010, charges against Billy Doe for an earlier arrest, on Nov. 11, 2009 for retail theft in Northeast Philadelphia, were withdrawn because a witness didn't show up.

On March 5, 2010, Father Joseph B. Graham, pastor of St. Jerome's, turned over a register of funerals to the district attorney's office. Billy Doe had claimed he was raped by Father Avery after a funeral service at St. Jerome's. Billy told Detective Snyder the funeral service was in July 1999; Billy told the jury in the Msgr. Lynn trial that Avery raped him in Spring 1999.

Apparently, nobody at the D.A.'s office took the time to immediately examine that register of funerals, because it completely contradicted Billy Doe's story. The register showed that Father Avery had served only one funeral during the 1998-99 school year when Billy was a fifth-grader, in March 1999, but that funeral was held at Nazareth Hospital, where Avery was a chaplain, and not at St. Jerome's.

On March 22, 2010, Detective Snyder picked up the phone and called Mark Besben, a drug counselor. Besben was the first person that Billy Doe told his story of sex abuse to back in 2009, before Billy called in a complaint of sex abuse on Jan. 29, 2009 to an archdiocese hot line.

What the drug counselor had to say should have alarmed Detective Snyder. Here's what the detective wrote in his notes:

I talked to Besben on the phone. Although he won't say that he does not believe [Billy's] story, he finds it difficult to believe based on the amount of information that [Billy] told him. Besben stated that it is his experience that most victims of abuse do not open up that quickly.

Besben was an expert, a drug counselor used to listening to all kinds of stories and figuring out who was lying. Maybe if Billy Doe's drug counselor was suspicious, Detective Snyder should have been suspicious as well?

But the district attorney's "investigation" was moving in a different direction. It would be nearly two years before anybody from the district attorney's office would go see Besben to find out what else he had to say.

What follows is a timeline in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia case, reconstructing the events as they happened in chronological order.


On March 19, 2010, Billy Doe told his story to a grand jury under a veil of secrecy. Under the rules of grand jury proceedings, only prosecutors were allowed to ask questions. No defense lawyer was allowed to cross-examine Billy Doe.

Billy Doe told the grand jury that he underwent a personality change after he was raped in fifth grade by Father Charles Engelhardt and Father Edward Avery, and after he was raped in sixth grade by Bernard Shero:

Q. [Billy], did you continue going to St. Jerome's?

A. Yes.

Q. Until what grade?

A. Eighth.

Q. Was there any difference that you noticed in yourself after these incidents?

A. I wasn't -- I basically turned into a loner. I didn't want to be around any people. The music I listened to changed. My whole personality changed.

On April 1, 2010, Detective Snyder stopped by Gaurdenzia House, Billy Doe's latest drug rehab, to see how the D.A.'s new star witness was doing:

[Billy] told me that he wasn't doing so good at Gaurdenzia. Last week he went to Roxborough Memorial Hospital because he threw his back out. Yesterday, there was a fire on the floor that [Billy] is assigned and they are trying to blame [Billy] for starting the fire. They said that [Billy] was the only one on the floor at the time of the fire. [Billy] contends that there were numerous staff members on the floor, besides, [Billy] does not have access to the kitchen where the fire started.

On April 23, 2010, Detective Snyder briefly interviewed Sharon Nendza, longtime principal of St. Jerome's parish school:

"I briefly spoke to Nendza, she said that she does not believe [Billy Doe]. I asked her why? And she responded by saying that [Billy] was like an "Eddie Haskell" (from the 50s show "Leave It To Beaver).

Once again, Snyder's curiosity was not piqued enough to drive out to St. Jerome's to see what else the school principal and Billy's former teachers had to say.

The prosecution of the church was well under way in secret grand jury proceedings. But it would be another 20 months before the district attorney would send detectives out to St. Jerome's to investigate Billy Doe's stories.

On May 3, 2010, Detective Snyder drove back to Gaurdenzia House to check up on Billy Doe:

I stopped by Gaurdenzia House to have [Billy] sign the release papers and was informed that [Billy] absconded. I talked to Jack Kelly, director of Gaurdenzia. Kelly stated that there were rumors of [Billy] using drugs. Kelly had no evidence of [Billy] using drugs but he did cancel [Billy]'s appointments for the day and they were going to search his room. [Billy] came down for lunch and left through the out-patient entrance. I talked to [Billy's] parents. [Billy] did call them and told them that Kelly accused him of using drugs and that his probation officer, Ryan Smith, was on his way to Gaurdenzia to lock [Billy] up and take him back to prison.

On June 2, 2010, Detective Snyder got a phone call from Billy Doe:

[Billy] told me he that he left Gaurdenzia because of his problems with the director, Mr. Kelly. [Billy] stated that he first was staying with a friend and then lived with a girl and her children in Glenside, PA. [Billy] did admit to using heroin for about a week after he first left Gaurdenzia but he assured me that he has been sober for the last couple of weeks. [Billy] is back home with his parents.

... [Billy] asked me if I could help get him into a rehab. I asked about Miramount and [Billy] replied that "they" are mad at him for leaving Guardenzia and then using. I told [Billy] to get me a list of some of the places that he would like to stay at and I would make some phone calls on his behalf.

Despite what he told Detective Snyder, Billy Doe's new attempt to stay sober would last only a week.

On June 9, 2010, Billy Doe was arrested on charges with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, namely 56 bags of heroin. However, when he was on the witness stand at the Engelhardt-Shero trial, Billy Doe told the jury he didn't plan to sell the drugs; he was going to use all that heroin himself.

Meanwhile, Billy's past legal problems continued to disappear.

On July 8, 2010, before Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore, charges against Billy Doe stemming from a Jan 14, 2010 arrest for retail theft and taking merchandise in Philadelphia were withdrawn because a witness didn't show up.


On November 9, 2010, Billy Doe's parents were sworn in as witnesses before the grand jury. The district attorney on that same day issued subpoenas for Edward Avery, Father Engelhardt, Bernard Shero and Father James J. Brennan. By this time, Billy's father had had a change of heart, and was clearly in his son's corner.

The prosecutor asked Billy's father about Jan. 30, 2009, the day two social workers from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia knocked on his door. They were seeking to interview Billy, who had phoned in a sex abuse complaint on a church hot line the day before:

Q. Why did you not want to let the archdiocese in?

A. At that time, I knew it was a serious problem and I figured he [Billy] would need legal representation before he made any statements to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ...

Q. When did you actually hear [Billy] talk about what had happened to him?

A. There was times when we would confront him in reference to his drug abuse and he would blurt out that he was abused at the school and that's how I started to discover and then information was slowly but surely coming out of him.

Q. And do you believe your son?

A. Yes, I believe him.

Billy's mother testified before the grand jury on the same day her husband did, Nov. 9, 2010. She contradicted Billy's storyline about him undergoing a personality change while still in grade school:

Q. Did there come a time when you noticed a change in [Billy's] behavior?

A. Yes. At age 14, as he entered high school, freshman year at high school, he wasn't the same child. He was very troubling to us.

Q. Ok. Prior to that, what was his personality?

A. He was basically a very pleasant, active, happy person prior to that and he was defined by some people as either Dennis the Menace or the All-American boy up to that point.

Q. Ok. So he's leaving St. Jerome's and entering into high school?

A. Uh-huh.

Q. And at this time what's going on that's different?

A. Freshman year started in September and in February we were called and he was thrown out of Archbishop Ryan for having some marijuana and having brass knuckles. And he was arrested and because of the brass knuckles, he wasn't allowed back into a Catholic school for a year. So they sent him to CORA for treatment. It was an after-school program and that was his first contact with any type of mental health counselors, therapists or programs, and that was really difficult for us because we never had that before.

The prosecutor asked Billy's mother about suicidal tendencies:

Q. How were you aware of the suicidal ideations? Would he talk to you about them or how would he express this?

A. One day we came home and he was running around with his brother's decorative sword and we kind of cornered him ... And what we did was, when we went home, we like ripped apart his room ... We cleaned his room out, looking for any kind of drug paraphernalia, any notes. We found suicide notes and we found pictures of guns held at a head and [Billy] is -- can draw very well. They were very graphic and very scary ...

Q. Did he ever get any tattoos?

A. He has a bizarre one on his chest ... I think it's Mary holding Jesus and I often question him like where is that coming from and he doesn't have a clue ... On another arm he has one that says, Lost Soul ... Lost is a surfing company and he [Billy] was always into Lost products. His surfboard, his clothing would be from this company , Lost, and he had that put on there, but he added soul to it, like S-O-U-L, and that was -- that kind of defined, when I seen that, defined his life.


To Billy's mother, Billy may have been a lost soul, but to the district attorney's office, Billy Doe was a savior. That's because the D.A. had been searching for a sex abuse case that fell within the statute of limitations so they could prosecute Msgr. William J. Lynn, former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for endangering the welfare of a child.

In pursuit of a historic conviction, the district attorney's office was grooming Billy Doe for the witness stand.

On Dec. 2, 2010, Detective Snyder called Billy Doe's father "and told him that I'll be picking up [Billy] at the prison on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010. We want him to meet with our expert witness on clergy abuse. I need to confirm [Billy's] whereabouts."

On Dec. 14, 2010, Detective Snyder got the district attorney's star witness out of jail again:

Brought [Billy] in from DC [Detention Center] for one last meeting. [Billy] did not look too good, he told me that he hasn't ben sleeping well and that he was involved in a fight a couple of days ago.

 On Jan. 21, 2011, Detective Snyder wrote:

The Grand Jury signed a presentment suggesting that Msgr. Lynn, Rev. Brennan, Rev. Engelhardt, Bernard Shero and Edward Avery should be arrested and Judge [Renee] Caldwell-Hughes signed off on the presentment.

On Jan. 21, 2011, the district attorney issued a 124-page grand jury report that called for the indictment of Msgr. Lynn for endangering the welfare of children. "These are sordid, shocking acts," District Attorney Williams proclaimed about the rapes allegedly perpetrated against Billy Doe and Mark Bukowski. It was clear from the report that the district attorney, and the grand jury, heavily relied on the stories told by Billy Doe:

This Grand Jury investigation began with the tearful testimony of "Billy." Billy was a 10-year-old student in Barbara Mosakowski's fifth grade class at St. Jerome School in Philadelphia when two priests molested and orally sodomized him during the 1998-99 school year. Billy had signed up to be an altar boy at St. Jerome Church because his brother, who was three years older, had been one. He also participated in the "maintenance department" of the school's bell choir, meaning that he took the bells out of their cases before choir practice and put them away at the end.

On Jan. 26, 2011, Detective Snyder wrote:

I prepared warrants on Lynn, Brennan, Avery, Engelhardt and Shero and had Judge Caldwell-Hughes sign the warrants.

Detective Snyder wrote down in his notes that he had left messages for the district attorney's other star witness in the case -- Mark Bukowski. Bukowski had accused Father James J. Brennan, Msgr. Lynn's co-defendant, of raping Bukowski when he was 14. But Bukowski didn't call back.

On Jan. 31, 2011, Detective Snyder called the Bukowski family and "left another message for Mark." On Feb. 3, 2011, Mark Bukowski's father called back.

Here's what Detective Snyder wrote in his notes:

I must have forgotten but Mark is in prison. That must be why he doesn't return my calls ... Mark would also like me to visit him in prison. I have to do a couple of interviews tomorrow, but if I get time, I'll ask Mark to sign a waiver or whatever it takes so that we can get his records.

In the criminal courts, Billy's lucky streak continued. On Feb. 7, 2011, the charges against Billy Doe for  possession with intent to distribute 56 bags of heroin were dismissed after a motion to suppress evidence in the case - the heroin -- was granted by a judge who, as a private civil attorney, had previously consulted with Billy about whether he could sue the archdiocese. [See accompanying story].

On Feb. 10, 2011, Fathers Brennan, Avery and Engelhardt arrived at the district attorney's office to turn themselves in so that they could be formally charged. Bernard Shero did not surrender. He was arrested later that day after the fire department broke down his door, and detectives found the groggy suspect inside his residence after an unsuccessful suicide attempt with sleeping pills. Upon his release from the hospital, Shero was taken into police custody, arraigned and released on $95,000 bail.

On Feb. 16, 2011, Detective Snyder met with John St. Peter, a former classmate of Billy's at St. Jerome's. St. Peter's mother had contacted the detective to say that "her son John had some information in reference to" Billy Doe.

It was through John St. Peter that the prosecution introduced the storyline in the Engelhardt-Shero case that as an altar boy Billy frequently changed Masses to stay away from Fathers Engelhardt and Avery after they raped him. Billy's parents did not contribute to this storyline and calendars kept by Billy's mother refuted Billy's story about switching Masses. So did the priests at St. Jerome's, but the district attorney wouldn't get around to interviewing them for another 10 months.

On Feb. 22, 2011, Mark Bukowski pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an July 5, 2010 arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was given a sentence of two to six months in jail and a year's probation.

On March 16, 2011, Detective Snyder talked to Newtown Township [Bucks County] Detective Charles Palko about how notorious Mark Bukowski and his family were to local cops:

Detective Palko came into the office today to discuss his involvement with the Bukowskis. Palko stated that the department is quite familiar with the Bukowskis. Usually when a new officer is being trained, they are usually driven by the Bukowski house and are told to expect "disturbance calls" from that location. Palko did go on to say that Mark was usually polite and apologetic when he would be arrested, except when he was high on drugs. Palko told me that the Bukowskis are having financial problems. [Mark's father] lost his job in New Jersey and his now delivering the newspaper as well as being a handyman. Palko said that Mark never once brought up the topic of him being a victim of abuse, but his mother would use it as an excuse whenever Mark was in trouble with the law.

Like Billy Doe, Mark Bukowski had filed a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

On March 30, 2011, Mark Bukowski pleaded guilty to forgery, theft, identity theft and was given a sentence of three years in jail.

On Nov. 10, 2011, Billy Doe got arrested again in Philadelphia, this time for possession of a controlled substance.


On Dec. 12, 2011, Detective Joseph Walsh interviewed Donna Clopp, Billy Doe's second-grade teacher at St. Jerome's. She described Billy as a "happy kid -- he liked attention." Clopp recalled that when Billy Doe was an eighth grader, he was a member of the bell choir maintenance crew. "He was one of the crew that would set up the tables and get the bells out and set things up,"she said.

Billy's story was that he was alone in the church and working as a member of the bell choir maintenance crew in fifth grade when Father Avery first hit on him. That's the story the D.A. ran with in that 2011 grand jury report.

But Clopp and several other teachers at the school, including the church music director, told detectives that only eighth grade boys were members of the bell choir maintenance crew because they were big and strong enough to carry the heavy bells, bell cases and tables. No fifth or sixth or seventh grade boys were allowed to be members of the bell choir maintenance crew, the teachers said.

On Dec. 13, 2011, Detective Walsh interviewed Sister Mary Fischetti, the parish director of services at St. Jerome's. The nun who had been employed at the school for 26 years told the detective that after Billy Doe graduated from St. Jerome's, "a woman would call the convent and ask whoever answered the phone to please pray for [Billy Doe] ... The woman never said what was wrong with [Billy Doe] -- just asked us at the convent to pray for him."

On Dec. 19, 2011, Detective Walsh went out to interview Sister Mary Fischetti again. Sister Mary told the detective that Billy had gotten the time of the early weekday Mass at St. Jerome's wrong -- the Mass was at 6:15, not 6:30. Billy told the grand jury he was raped by Father Engelhardt after a 6:30 weekday Mass but when he testified at the Msgr. Lynn trial, he said he was raped after a weekend Mass. The Sunday Mass at St. Jerome's is at 6:30.

Sister Mary told Detective Walsh that she doubted Billy Doe could be alone with a priest because there was usually a sexton, or sacristan, present during daily Masses, accompanied by two altar boys. The nun also told the detective that the sacristy where Billy Doe claimed that Father Engelhardt raped him had four doors.

Detective Walsh asked if the nun knew who the woman was that had frequently called the convent seeking prayers on behalf of Billy Doe. Sister Mary said the usual practice in the rectory was that if someone requested intercessory prayer, the nuns at the convent would post a note on the refrigerator so that all the nuns in the convent could pray for that individual.

"I remember some of the notes saying [Mrs. Doe] called asking for prayers for her son [Billy]," the nun told the detective.


On Dec. 20, 2011, Detective Walsh interviewed Margaret [Peggy] Long, the church music director for the past 23 years. It was Long who started the children's bell choir in 1990 and within two years after that, she started the adult bell choir. Long told Detective Walsh that only eighth grade boys could be members of the bell choir maintenance crew, and that the maintenance crew set up the bells and then left. The bell choir would perform for an hour and then put away their own equipment; by then, the maintenance crew was gone.

Billy Doe had told the grand jury as a fifth-grader he had stayed late at church, putting away the bells by himself when Father Avery first hit on him.

"I read the grand jury report," Long told Detective Walsh, and "the information contained in the grand jury report concerning the bell choir could not have happened."

On Jan. 4, 2012, Detective Walsh interviewed Donna Clopp for a second time. The teacher at St. Jerome's told the detective she had been a member of the children's bell choir since its inception, and a member of the adult bell choir since its inception.

Q. In 1998-99 when [Billy Doe] was in fifth grade, would he have been a member of the bell crew?

A. I don't believe so because it was always eighth grade boys because of the weight of the table and bells.

At the Engelhardt-Shero trial, Donna Clopp testified that the bell cases and tables weighed more than 30 pounds each. At the trial, according to the prosecution, when Billy Doe was a 10-year-old fifth grader back in the 1998-99 school year he weighed 63 pounds.


On Jan. 9, 2012, Detective Walsh interviewed Billy Doe's older brother, then a 26-year-old lawyer. Billy's older brother was in eighth grade at St. Jerome's when Billy was in fifth grade. Billy's older brother is mentioned in the grand jury report of Jan. 21, 2011. However, it took a year for the district attorney to send a detective out to interview Billy's brother, and discover that he contradicted Billy's story on many key points.

Billy's brother had served as both an altar boy and a sexton at the church. Billy had claimed he was a 10-year-old altar boy putting away the wine after an early Mass when Father Engelhardt first hit on him. But Billy's older brother told the detective that it was the sextons and not the altar boys who took care of communion wine after church.

Billy Doe had claimed that Father Engelhardt locked all four doors to the sacristy when he raped Billy after an early Mass. But Billy's older brother told Detective Walsh there was a doorway between the sacristy and a dressing room where priests put on their vestments. "The door was never closed -- it was blocked by a chair against it," Billy's brother told the detective.

Billy's older brother also contradicted Billy's story that he had frequently switched Masses with other altar boys whenever he found out he was scheduled to serve Mass with either Father Engelhardt or Father Avery.

Billy's older brother told Detective Walsh that he never switched Masses with his brother, and that furthermore, a switch wasn't that easy to pull off. Billy's older brother said before he could switch Masses with another altar boy, he would need the approval of his parents and the pastor.


On Jan. 17, 2012, Detective David Fisher interviewed Chanee Mahoney, a 24-year-old young woman who was a 2005 graduate of the International Christian Academy in Northeast Philadelphia, the school Billy Doe transferred to after he was kicked out of Archbishop Ryan High School.

It was Mahoney who, according to a library card, borrowed two books in 2004 -- Know About Abuse and Child Abuse, detectives wrote in their 483 report. The two books were found under Billy's bed by Billy's mother, who turned them over to the district attorney's office as evidence.

Billy's story was that he borrowed the books from a fellow student for a book report. Mahoney, however, told Detective Fisher that she never loaned the books to Billy:

Q. How would you explain that [Billy] would have had your books that you borrowed from the Ogontz library?

A. I never locked my locker at school because I kept my personal belongings on me. He could have gone in the locker. I could have left them out somewhere. I definitely did not give them to him.

Q. So if [Billy Doe] was to say you loaned or borrowed the library books for him for a subject paper while at International Christian Academy, would that be the truth?

A. No.

Q. Tell me what you recall about [Billy]?

A. He was always getting in trouble with school.

On Feb. 3, 2012, Detective Fisher and Detective Snyder interviewed Mark Besben, a counselor at SOAR, a drug rehab attended by Billy Doe. When he talked to the detectives, Besben used the word "sessions" to describe the group sessions and one-on-one sessions that drug counselors had with Billy Doe.

Two years earlier, Billy Doe had told Detective Snyder and a grand jury that "sessions" was the code word used by Fathers Engelhardt and Avery to describe their rapes of Billy. Both priests, however, told their lawyers that they had never used that word before and had no idea where it came from.

The grand jury report released on Jan. 21, 2011 mentioned Billy Doe's "sessions" with Fathers Engelhardt and Avery three times. Billy's version of what sessions meant was publicized in the media, and told to two juries in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse cases.

But two years after Billy Doe first told the "sessions" story to Detective Snyder, it was Besben who supplied the district attorney's office with a far more credible explanation of where sessions came from.

Besben was an important witness for another reason. Billy Doe had initially told Louise Hagner, an archdiocese social worker, that he had been punched in the head by Father Avery and when he woke up, he found himself naked and tied up with altar sashes. Billy also told Hagner that Bernard Shero punched him in the face and wrapped a seat belt around his neck before he raped him.

Billy subsequently claimed that he was high on drugs when he talked to Hagner. But when detectives talked to Besben, he recalled Billy in drug rehab telling him a version of the bondage story, as well as adding a new twist about other possible victims:

Q. Do you recall any specifics of [Billy's] details describing his abuse?

A. He said it was when he was in Catholic elementary school when he was really young. He said his hands was tied up and how helpless he felt ...

Q. Did [Billy] say or tell you how long his abuse sexual abuse took place?

A. For two years ... [Billy] mentioned that he was not the only one.

So by the time the district attorney's detectives finally got around to investigating the case, they found a slew of witnesses who contradicted Billy Doe.

But it was too late. A district attorney and a grand jury had already made the mistake of believing a bunch of stories told by Eddie Haskell on heroin.


  1. Hope district attorney Seth Williams can afford a good lawyer. Corruption, deceit, internal corroboration could be in the cards for his leadership in the handling of this whole issue. Maybe it will be Seth, billy and mark sharing the same jail cell. Oh, the stories they could tell.


    1. Couldn't agree more. I actually posted "Billy Doe's" real name and other personal details, including his reported whereabouts. Admin removed the post, and I respect that decision. If anything, it shows that Ralph affords "Billy Doe" more respect than I do, and is more ethical than I would be in his position.
      I will continue to report the personal details of liars and false accusers on various sites, in cases where those lies have led to wrongful convictions and innocent people are behind bars as a result.
      In such cases there should be no hiding place for the fraudsters, extortionists and perjurers. Just as communities are warned when a sexual predator moves in to their area, so they deserve to be warned that a criminal liar and false accuser is in their midst, so they can avoid all contact with such a person, and thus protect themselves from potential false accusation.

  3. It is sad to see that an individual I HAD respect for has proven time after time his reporting skills have diminished and his main concern was to gain a cult following such as Dave Pierre or Bill Donahue of the Catholic League. His reporting has been so one sided it has been asked of him recently not only by this individual but by others if he or the Beasley Law Firm that sponsors him are in bed with the catholic church.

    Instead of using what he was taught in reporter 101, asking the questions who, what, where, when and why, this reporter continues to feel it is important to leave his personal views. In my opinion a way to maintain his cult following, or a way to continue to stoke the fire. Could it be to continue to receive a paycheck ?, could it be a way to hope to move on to bigger and better things ? I don't have the answers to those questions only he does.

    I too have questions for this reporter, like why he only seems to defend a priest in this case when clearly there was another defendant that is not a priest but a lay person ? Has this reporter ever sat down with an abuse survivor outside this case or any other case to fully understand first hand what a victim goes through ? Is he afraid what he might learn ? These are questions at present he has failed to answer.

    This individual does know this reporter along with people who choose to be his followers instead of leaders have failed to see the big picture. The help individuals who have been abused in the past, no matter if it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago may still need help, and this reporter who has the power of the pen behind him fails to assist with the prevention of this horror from ever happening again.

    And I know one other thing, by the grace of God this will all end one day, and this reporter maybe in the unemployment line or move onto something else, and his followers will comment on another subject they know nothing about. But survivors, their family, and their friends will always remember this time in their life. Because that saying "You never can take away memories" is so true.

    Dennis Ecker

    1. Denise,

      Have you read anything here or anywhere else that shows that these men are guilty? Besides the facts continually being presented to the contrary by Ralph. He has already stated that he is not affiliated with the catholic church and that you waste his time with such allegations.

      There was a time in January where you were praising Ralph as a journalist, but now your agenda does not agree with the facts and you claim he is on the take. Can I remind you that Shero and Engelhardt WERE NOT REPRESENTED BY THE ARCHDIOCESE. The archdiocese did not pay their bills. Seems to be an honest reporter searching for the truth in a case. The watergate of Philadelphia. Expose them all Ralph. Keep up the good work.

    2. Dennis,

      Your comment is inane. It is not even worth addressing. You are wasting everyone's time. In addition, you waste space here commenting on the meticulously researched material by an excellent, unbiased writer/reporter. You attack everyone with ridiculous, self absorbed remarks that have not been researched and frankly most of the time make NO SENSE. You seem to feel that being a supposed victim entitles you to blindly make assertions that are off the wall and try to garner sympathy regardless of your excessive hate for the Church and your despicable disrespect for the faith. I was suspect of all of your protesting too much and defending various individuals regardless of their credibility but gave you the benefit of the doubt. Now, I don't even believe you. The comments that you have made with regards to a big payout making people happy and the consistent entitlement motif makes me more suspect of your agenda. It has been suggested (not by me) that you seek out a common "victim's" blog-there are many of those that might help you. You can comment and complain every hour all day long. I think you have dominated conversation here without much to say. You say that the diocese pays for your therapy as well as your wife's? Why not use some time working on your own to better your life as a result of having help offered to you. If you don't have a job, get a hobby. Or do something constructive, for heavens sake. The Church is not going to crumble just because you say so-it is alive and well, I assure you. And Ralph is not going to go away or change his investigative skills to please the likes of you. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for constancy of both. And Archbishop Chaput is not going to be manipulated by you (it is more than kind of him to even read your obnoxious emails to him that you have posted.) You seem to think that all are waiting to hear your "thoughts" as you call them. Not so...sorry.

      I am not as kind and holy as our esteemed Archbishop, so I will end my thoughts here. And PS I do not comment often-just can't let you go on and on...

    3. From: Religion in the news Fall 1998, Vol.1, No.2

      Rosenthal rejected the charge passionately and told the Post that Inquirer editors acted cautiously because Cipriano "has a very strong personal point of view and an agenda. There were things that we didn’t publish that Ralph wrote that we didn’t think were truthful. He could never prove them."

      Has a very strong personal point of view and an agenda. Hell I'm no editor, I'm no reporter, I was not even a paperboy. I sometimes forget to know when to use the words to or too properly. But I see something in his writing that people seen years ago, and none of you see the same ?

    4. Dennis, I should thank God for critics like yourself.

      Yes, Bob Rosenthal, editor of the Inquirer, did make those comments in the Washington Post.

      But he would come to regret them. He subsequently apologized publicly in the Inquirer; his bosses had to make a confidential settlement. The best summary of what happened back then was printed in Editor & Publisher:

      Shortly after that settlement, Bob Rosenthal was the former editor of the Inquirer.

      I really don't enjoy reliving those days, but they do bring up an interesting parallel.

      In the 90s, Cardinal Bevilacqua and his PR people wanted to shoot the messenger because it wasn't me they were up against, it was themselves. I had the church's own documents, their capital budget, blueprints, etc. that showed that at the same time Bevilacqua was closing churches and schools in poor neighborhoods, supposedly because of a lack of money, he was secretly spending $5 million on lavish projects such as redecorating the cardinal's mansion, and renovating his private offices.

      When you have the documents, you don't have to be Ernest Hemingway.

      In this case, the grand jury transcripts, police records and documents in the case tell a pretty straight-forward story: all the evidence contradicts Billy Doe's stories. If you review what I've written, you'll see that the vast majority of it comes from the prosecution's own documents -- detective Q and As, grand jury transcripts, Mom's calendars, the church funeral register, the police interview with Billy's older brother. I have taken pains to give that to readers verbatim.

      And when you don't like what the prosecution's own documents are telling you about the prosecution's own "investigation," well then, you always have the option of shooting the messenger.

      BTW, have not forgotten Bernie Shero.

    5. "I concluded he had become biased and inappropriately obsessed". Quote received from -

      "has a very strong personal point of view and an agenda"

      It is true when you have documents or printed statements of others you don't have to be Hemingway.

      NEXT !!!

    6. So which side do you agree with Dennis?

      His biased point of view against the church from 1998-99 as you are stating above or his biased point of view defending the church / priests since the end of the last trial as you have been ranting about over the past two weeks?

      Stop talking out of both sides of your ass, please.

    7. Chippy you have all the charm of road kill.
      Contradictions are a part of life. JPII was against the invasion of Iraq yet he through Ratzinger ignored Marciel's abuses.
      Again the contradictions in this case are a bit too "underlined" for my taste.
      The debate on a decided guilty verdict is always problematic and it pulls focus away from the over abundance of other clerical abuse victims.

    8. Jim,

      I used that "both sides" line in a previous rebuttal to this person after finding yet another contradiction in his point of view from January til now.

      Now a debate on a decided guilty verdict may be problematic but if you or anyone else can read all the articles from the beginning of the trial til now, and not see a possible conspiracy starting with top city gov't officials, previous judges, the accuser and his cop family, (not to mention the jury) then you are not a person of integrity and honesty.

      Even if you and Dennis were abused, and have a hatred for the Church and its leadership, can you still sit there and believe that this accuser is telling the truth? He continues to be contradicted by the prosecution's own documents.

      And these two men in prison, with no other accusations against them of anything remotely close to these multiple sexual encounters with Billy, are closer to being innocent rather than guilty in the eyes of free thinking, educated people.

    9. Mr. Robertson, I wanted to answer your concerns regarding the RICO charges. A few months back I did contact the office of the FBI and was directed to the media department. The individual who I spoke with, although very polite was unable to answer my questions. If there was an active investigation ?, What does any group of people or organizations have to do for a RICO investigation have to do for an investigation to begin. I looked at my phone records and I wrote down the response as being, "there is not one factor that is used for an investigation to begin but many factors must come to light."

      My impression I had after the conversation is there is NOT an active investigation. I have the same concerns as you. After the facts that came to light regarding Cardinal B, and the Lynn trial with the secret documents, the shredding of documents, and the moving of abusive priests to simply define as protecting a criminal.

      The one thing I can tell you what someone told me. Criminals are not smart, no matter how smart they think they are, they all slip up, remember what brought down Capone.

    10. Thanks Dennis, Boy do I hear you.
      Isn't it strange that individual victims have to attempt from scratch to find out if our own government is doing anything to give us justice for our horror? Where are our representatives?
      Where's SNAP?
      SNAP's being paid a quarter million dollars in salaries PLUS EXPENSES A YEAR!. Why hasn't SNAP "the oldest and largest" blah blah blah organized a fucking thing around RICO?
      23 years of nothing but manipulation, DISCONNECTION not networking and zip organizing around RICO!
      They sure spent hundreds of thousand fighting that bull shit "protect the Survivors "information" all the way to the U.S.Supreme Court for nothing.
      (SNAP trying to pass its fake ass self off as a "Rape Crisis center. With no "professional" therapists on hand)
      Hell! they self describe SNAP as a "self help" group. [Whatever that is? the blind leading the blind perhaps? No therapist needed. That's the Church's wet dream. Let those "survivors" fix themselves]
      Now that would be a miraculous healing.
      Hiding records when SNAP's been yelling for the Church to open theirs for 23 years. Bare faced hypocracy; that only makes victims look bad.
      Only one source benefits from making victims look bad: the corporate Church

      Open it all up. I've nothing to hide.

      And the political links between the corporate Church and the government are almost endless.

      Out here in Calif. all the investigators of our claims hired by the Church were x FBI agents. Nice, when the Federal government should be investigating for VICTIMS they are investigating victims FOR the Church.
      (Better not screw up well paid future job opportunities for retired agents) INCREDIBLE!
      I am completely disgusted!

      Question: How many "factors" are necessary to bring murderers to trial?
      Answer: Innumerable. if your George W Bush and Chaney or the Catholic Church.
      The really powerful are never brought to justice. No matter how guilty they are. No matter how horrific the crimes.
      This just sucks!

    11. P.S. Dennis there are four people here who publish under our real names: Ralph, Josie Bailey, you, and me.
      What's the big need for such secrecy?
      I would kill for a little up front; old fashioned responsibility.

    12. Mr Robertson, I wish we had a way to keep in contact. Because I do not wish for this blog site to be a Facebook Friends Page, as some who believe it is. You have brought up alot of concerns. I want to inform you I do not represent SNAP. And I never had experience with the organization either negative or positive. After going through therapy for years, I realized it did not help and was not for me.( Trying to go to a happy place was not the answer) Although my wife states it helps her. I took the belief that God helps those who help themselves.

      You should be proud that you are tired of the same answers over and over again, and you should be very proud of the statement "Open it all up. I've nothing to hide" You, I and others who take that stand worries people. The people who wish we go away, the ones who believe since our abuse happened years ago and say we should get over with it, or believe no justice should be done to those who are "to old to abuse again" These are people that represent mostly old school catholics who still believe the church or priests can do no wrong. These people fear us and will attack back any way they know how.

      You are doing everything right. You are asking questions and you want answers. Sometimes you must put your own foot forward. You want justice for what happened to you, and you don't want it to happen to anyone else. My favorite weapon of choice is the telephone, then the internet, then the old footwork by banging on doors. Any individuals job that depends on votes is always a good start.

      I will tell you it is not easy. You will get frustrated. But you will see change. Look what happened in California today. A 10 million dollar award must be paid by the catholic church to 4 victims. You are part of that. Indirectly that is something you have done. That may of happened because somebody read your words on a blog site.

      I leave you my e-mail address if you wish to talk.
      To anyone who has been abused. As you can read you are not alone.

      Sorry if this is a NOVEL as some have suggested.

    13. You know what Dennis fuck 'em. Fuck em all!
      There I got that off my chest.
      Now the clown school has a new head. Pope Francis the talking mule.
      Have you heard of disaparados, (probably misspelled) The Disappeared, those who vanished in Argentina under the right wing military junta in the '70's well where was Franny while that went down?
      I've had a bad day not because there's a new Emperor but because of a little article on Pierre's The Media Report.
      How all the fake victims groups are aging out and "supporters" are losing interest in "helping survivors"
      That's because they haven't seen any of us and we haven't met each other.
      These groups were created by the Church to fail in exactly this way
      SNAP VOTF etc. were made to disappear through "lack of interest".
      How could they hold interest when the public saw so very few of us thanks to these fake shits.
      So it will look like the scandal and victims have just faded away. The corporate Church wins again.
      And nobody will know that all these helpful organizations were scams by the Church from the get go.
      The great "survivor hero" Fr. Tom Doyle O.P. had created these "committees to "control victims and our families"and this stunt has been active for the past 30 odd years.
      He called it the top secret "Project" in his initial report to American Bishops.
      It's in his f'ing book. I'm not making it up.
      I've been an activist since I was 16. I know the difference between shit and shinola when it comes to movements.
      There is no victims movement because thanks to SNAP and VOTF no victims have been able to get together. The Church has been in charge from the jump.
      I handcuffed my self to Mahoney's throne in 2005 and I've done more time than him for doing that crime. While he and the rest walk away from felonies. Felonies that could if the government wanted to, be charged under the Rico Act. But no.
      So the bullshit continues and probably the anti Danny claques and the pro Danny claques here are part of the same old scam.
      All I know is real victims have and are continuing to be irreparably harmed. With no therapy No compensation just huge chunks of bull shit.
      Thanks for your address here's mine A witty friend choose that moniker. I didn't but it's me.
      Unconnected victims must be so discouraged by now thanks to SNAP VOTF and Tommy Doyle they've probably given up. They'd rather just attempt to go on and bury it all. And we could have done so very much. Must sleep, thanks a lot Dennis.

      SNAP VOTF etc.

  4. But this is so typical of government and of overly ambitious lawyers--although that may be redundant! No one can be trusted anymore. Truth, due process, honesty, concern for the good of the community all are gone and we suffer because of the greed and corruption of 'civil servants'--who are neither civil nor servant. From the White House, through congress, in the states and in our cities, justice cries for mercy!

  5. Thank you Ralph for uncovering the truth that no one wants to hear.
    These trials remind me of the Salem Witch Hunt.

  6. Why would Ralph sit down with an abuse survivor? Your missing the whole point here. THERE IS NO SURVIOR. THERE IS NO VICTIM! Seth and his minions down at the DA want to make a name for themselves. Point blank. They let visions of grandeur and making this national news interfere with there judgment. You are one hardheaded SOB, Dennis. All of his problems with the law magically disappear! Oh yeah and his dads a cop. Oh yeah and his legal advisor is also his judge. And his parents can come to visit with him when he's being interviewed.on and on and on and on and on. Gimme a break. What the hell is going on in this city? Really makes sick to my stomach. Good job Seth. Your a real piece of work. I didn't know they gave out Law degrees in a cracker jacks boxes anymore, you must have got the last one. RALPH, Could you pass the BAR exam rather quickly and defend these two men when they win their appeal.

    1. Axel -

      I respectfully beg to differ - there are FIVE victims - Avery, Engelhardt, Shero, the taxpayers and the truth.

      Ralph - superb work - my sincerest compliments!

    2. Agreed, Joe1944. Meticulous, indefatigable, and, cumulatively, devastating.

  7. Ralph,

    Quick question in regards to Billy and his lawyer Mr. McLaughlin. This references the rap sheet story as well as the above.

    Billy said under oath in the most recent trial that he was no longer in rehab in Florida but yet his lawyer keeps getting continuances (specifically in Billy's Decmeber 2012 hearing) to his drug trial based on the lawyer stating he is unavailable because he is in treatment. Is that legal if proven to be an incorrect statement and could a perjury charged be sought against either party?

  8. Ralph has spun himself a little cocoon. Engelhardt or Shero could go to court tomorrow and plead guilty, and since his personal agenda is they are innocent, he would most likely turn on the two individuals he is trying to be a voice for. I wonder if Engelhardt and Shero are aware of what he is writing ?

    The two comments above are not from me, but facts of statements that exist made about him regarding the professionalism of his reporting years ago. The same statements or complaints that are obvious in his reporting of this trial.

    Now you also asked a question earlier about what information I may have that says these two defendants are guilty. It is such a simple answer. Our justice system found them guilty, 12 individuals found them guilty. A group of individuals who were both approved by the Prosecution and the DEFENSE.

    This blog has ended up being a three ring circus, with Ralph being the ring leader, you and the other followers as the clowns trying to stuff yourself into the small car, and me losing focus to the real problem. I can only hope the next two trials don't end up this way.

    1. Dennis - Simple question:

      Were you in the courtroom during any part of the recent trial or is what you are claiming to have full knowledge of based strictly on media reports?

  9. It seems to me as though the jury and DA's office may have had some of their own Dennis' and so we see one of the many, many problems of our judicial system and trying to obtain "justice for all." At first, I read all the blogs but then quickly realized...skip over the ones from Dennis...he/she/whoever a nut. For all others, particularly Ralph...I find your articles/comments most informative as well as thought provoking. Keep up the good work and hopefully...soon...true justice will prevail over greed and vicious vendettas so that Mr. Engelhardt can get the fair trial that he deserved and was entitled to in the first place.

    1. Justice for all does not mean we keep doing it over and over again until YOU are happy with the verdict.

  10. Dennis - eagerly awaiting to read your next novel....

  11. Dennis, Lenin once asked: who benefits from x behavior. And I have to say the Church does here.
    And why this case and why now; at a time when more and more evidence of coverups, Mahoney's and Bishop Curry's own hand writing proves them guilty of felonies. Felonies that could be prosecuted NOW under the Rico act but aren't. And that's being ignored for a fruitless debate with no resolution possible, here? What's up with that?
    It reminds me of a staged fight in front of your house, you go out to look and thieves walk in the back door and out with your stuff.

    1. I think the only coverups in this case is from Billy's own criminal history and his lack of paying his debt to society for obvious unlawfulness. Now he gets to be in Florida while being out on bail for a drug charge, his 6th arrest in 6 years. I think as a law abiding citizen, if I was in the same situation, I would be in jail with no chance of bail. Makes you think huh?

  12. Bell Choir.

    I was in the court room the day Billy was questioned about the bell choir. McGovern: "Would you be surprised if I told you that no 5th grader.... would you be surprised if I told you that no 6th grader.... would you..... no 7th grader....?"

    I thought this was a good find for the defense, but I am also surprised that it did not seem to receive an elevated level of attention.

    I remember Billy responding to each question that he would be surprised, but I didn't feel the inaccuracy received enough importance in the court room.

    Did the judge limit McGovern's flexibility to ask questions in such a way that it muted the inconsistency in this story?

  13. Ralph, a lot of information on this article. Provided much to think about.

    Billy's Brother:

    The confusion in the court room regarding the brother had to be noticed: the defense was looking to see if he arrived as their witness, the prosecution commenting on the style in which the subpoena was delivered, the question from the jury on why the brother did not testify, the response the judge gave to the jury: "an official subpoena was not delivered".

    Points and Questions on this topic:
    The brother never came to court in support of his brother - I wonder why? I wonder if making himself difficult to find was a reason.

    Since the brother was not in court, could the defense have quoted his testimony from the Grand Jury report much the way the prosecution did for another witness that could not attend?

  14. Mike McGovern is one of the best defense attorneys (and former prosecutors) in the city of Philadelphia. In fact, both Defendants had some of the best counsel that money can buy. One has to ask themselves why these brilliant defense attorneys would not present this evidence if it were, in fact, exculpatory. There are likely a few reasons, but mostly because it sounds like a lot of it is hearsay and speculation, which is inadmissible in a courtroom unless specific exceptions are satisfied. Many criminal cases, like this one, rely almost exclusively on the word of the victim versus the word of the Defendant. It is up to the jury to make a determination as to the veracity and credibility of the witnesses. The jury here was presented with evidence of the victim's criminal history and determined that he was believable in spite of it. These men had a full and fair trial, with all due process allowed them under the constitution, and were found guilty by a jury of their peers. What more can you ask for?

    Also, the previous post states that the heroin charges were dismissed after a suppression hearing. Meaning the search and seizure was unconstitutional. That is a big difference from the charges being voluntarily "dropped" by prosecutors, as was said in this post. Might want to correct that inaccuracy.

    1. anonymous - sounds to me like you work in the DA's office.

    2. @joe1944 - I do not. I'm just an objective observer who has been following these cases since the beginning. No connection to the case in any way. Care to respond to the substance of what I said?

    3. Dear Anonymous 1230 . Thank you so much for your educated comment. You must know that you have placed yourself in the same position as me for not following the majority thinking of those who follow this blog. You are an individual who I must apologize to for allowing myself to get off track by making comments outside of what this case is about.

      I have wanted to put together in words exactly what you have said. You have done nothing but a PERFECT job. You have been already been suspected of being someone within the DA's office, and not a citizen who cares, and that is not suprising.

      If I can add to your perfect statement: These two men have been charged, they have been found guilty in a court of law by a jury of their peers. By a system of justice, that you I and others are sent to protect. The system may not be perfect, but it is a system we have in place, it is also a system that will offer these two men a chance for appeal. A second chance to defend the accusations against them.

      I hope no one comments on my statement, but to your offer to anyone who would like to respond to the substance of what you have said.

      To my hero, "you know who you are" I have read your e-mail. Thank You.

    4. Is it correct to say, that as US Citizens in the Unites States of America, each of these men should have been entitled to their own trial as well as a preliminary hearing?

    5. @Anonymous (2:37) - No, that is not correct. There is no constitutional right to separate trials as long as there are enough common facts or charges between/amongst the defendants and a joint trial is not unfairly prejudicial. This is well-settled and something that their counsel surely could have challenged if they believed it appropriate. As to a prelminary hearing: again, no. They were indicted by an independent grand jury, which is enough to satisfy their due process rights under the constitution.

    6. Go, Go, Go, Thank You.

    7. Thank you for that info anonymous 2:53. But they had 2 very significantly different charges. Engelhardt had conspiracy but Shero did not and Shero had rape but Engelhardt did not! And since you seem to know something about the law, can you answer me this: how is it that at the end of the trial when the judge went over the law with the jurors, she spent 20 minutes out of 45 going over a wrong charge with which both commonwealth and the defense agreed was not correct but weren't able to interrupt her. I, with a college degree, was completely confused by the judge by the time she finished because there were so many different charges between the two defendants. How is that fair to the defendants who in my opinion each deserved their own trial?

    8. @Anonymous 9:35 - I cannot say what the specific grounds were for them to be tried together. I did not attend the trial. I can tell you that it is not a constitutional right to be tried separately, and that their defense attorneys are certainly well-versed enough to know to challenge the joint trial if the argument had any merit.

      As to the jury instruction, that actually sounds like it will probably be one of their grounds for appeal. An improper jury instruction is one of the most common grounds for appeal, particularly if the judge did not take proper corrective action.

    9. I agree. These columns have become a venue for hearsay and rumor mongering. And these supposedly brilliant defense attorneys are eagerly taking part in it. And the Beasley Law Firm is sponsoring it. I just don't understand what's going on with these lawyers in Philadelphia. They seem to have lost all sense of professional ethics.

      Two juries found these men guilty. If their defense lawyers chose to not properly defend them, that should be taken up on appeal. All of this crying foul makes no sense if Lynn or Avery have not cried foul by filing an appeal. We can only wait and see if Shero or Engelhardt cry foul with an appeal. In any event, hearsay and rumors will not be considered by the appellate court, thank God.

      This all appears to be some attempt by a discredited journalist to gain national notoriety. In fact, I hope it does.

    10. Nobody's discredited this guy. Don't know what you're talking about. If you've got something, other than a 20 year old battle that I won, it's put up or shut up time. And you have a simple solution to your troubles: tune into and you'll feel far more comfortable about this case. They stopped reporting on it a month ago.

      I was in the courtroom and I saw a travesty unfold. Sorry if you'd like me to pretend I didn't see what I saw. As somebody who has spent many years ripping this very same archdiocese, I'm the last guy in town who would stick up for them and their corrupt church unless I saw something equally corrupt going on.

      Get over it, or go somewhere else. It's a free country.

    11. @Ralph - If that's the case then do something to prove the alleged corruption. Most of the stuff you write focuses on the accuser and a lot of evidence that was not presented at trial. Well, there is a reason much of it wasn't presented - it's not reliable and too speculative to be admissible in court.

      The clear inference is that you believe the DA's office somehow conspired, acted unethically, or had improper motives in bringing this case. Let's see some proof of that! Most of your words have been spent focusing on the alleged victim and his story. The victim did not determine whether or not charges were brought, so who is your real beef with? You say the DA "rolled out the red carpet" by sending Billy to treatment and having some charges dropped. I say that is run of the mill criminal justice - it happens every day and for people charged with much more serious crimes. You say that a high ranking official told Mike McGovern that there was disagreement in the office as to Billy's veracity. News flash: this also happens all the time in criminal cases. Lower ranking prosecutors do not always agree with the charges they bring. At the end of the day the top dog makes that decision, and he has an ethical duty to only bring charges if he believes the elements can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. And guess what, they were!! By a jury after a full trial.

      So, you don't like the DA's decision to bring charges. You don't like the jury's verdict. Okay. But show me anything from the law enforcement authorities that is unusual or points to a real conspiracy or corruption, and stop wasting time on the speculation in the accuser's story.

      BTW, I do enjoy reading the blog, even if I don't necessarilly agree with it. You are doing good investigative work, I just think it's focused in the wrong place.

    12. No, I think I'll stay right here in the belief that eventually not only legal minds but also journalists will start clocking in with their opinion on this form of journalism. You may have given short shrift to the suicide note that did not declare innocence, but apparently the jury took it seriously. You may not have noticed that Avery recanted his plea but failed to file an appeal which means he's a demonstrated liar. You may not have been struck by the fact that children drove Shero out of the neighborhood because they were afraid of him. The jury saw a different travesty than you.

      In fact, I think I'll stay right here to see just how far the Beasley Law Firm is going to let this go.

    13. Haven't forgotten about that suicide note.

    14. Do you have a copy of the note? Was it sealed or something?

    15. Two thumbs up girl. "No I think I'll stay right here" Did I read it write ? Is that a response to Ralph Cipriano comment "GET OVER IT, OR GO SOMEWHERE ELSE"

      I have learned something from this man:

      It is true if you have the documents and the statements of others, you don't have to be Ernest Hemingway.

      I hope everything is going well Sarah.

    16. Yes, Dennis, I guess Ralph got mad at me with his put up or shut up thing. And then right away Anonymous gave him the same message back, time to prove the alleged corruption or stop alleging it. I just read Ralph's next blog. It's the worst one yet. He even goes back to the books under Billy's bed. Unbelievable.

  15. Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected as new Pope.

    May he have the strength within to face a major issue within in the church.

    May he have strength that those previous to him had not.

    1. Please pardon my flippancy Dennis,
      May he drop dead as soon as possible. IF and I say IF he's the same shit the rest have been.
      So that the Church might work it's way through the hierarchy till it finally finds a truly Christ like woman or man to end these centuries of abuse of the 99% of the rest of us, truly Christ like, people.
      We've suffered these fools quite long enough thank you.
      Just my opinion.

    2. Must we suffer your insane, hate-filled comments? You are just a miserable person.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. I hope Josie you had a chance to see what I wrote you before it was so "moderately" removed.
      I always thought it was considered moral to hate liars, fraudsters, child rapists and their enablers.
      I must have got that wrong.
      Maybe I was being abused the day your version of morality was taught at my Catholic high school.
      I'm sorry I'm not damp with joy at Pope Francis's election.
      I'm always amazed at the absolute bliss that occurs in people when someone they know nothing about and haven't even seen before becomes the new boss.
      As if it was always meant to be thus.
      Ah magical thinking!
      I do sincerely give you credit for signing your name to your opinions. Now that in my opinion is very moral.
      But ignore that insane comment.

    5. Yes, I had a chance to see the obscenity that we expect from you-mostly to get attention but also because you lack class and spew hatred. I think you have become more pathetic than ever but I am happy you have a friend in Dennis, who has similar issues. Unfortunately, he is a broken it would be truly great if you young men could get a job.

    6. Now I'm a young man.Thanks Josie, I'll always be jail bait compared to Pope Francis but this 66 year old is retired.
      Honey if you call people insane they might just might blow up hence the deleated comment. But real glad you saw it. You deserved it..
      Honey I fairly drip attention; that's because I'm an interesting guy.
      Do you ever stop hating victims? I don't know much about Dennis
      I do know as a person he deserves respect from you. He's a gentleman. You know how I react to your nonsense; and yet you insult him and he's a gentleman.
      Could you answer one question for me please Josie?
      What do you think Christianity is? Insulting people? Gentle people?

  16. "In this case, the grand jury transcripts, police records and documents in the case tell a pretty straight-forward story: all the evidence contradicts Billy Doe's stories. If you review what I've written, you'll see that the vast majority of it comes from the prosecution's own documents -- detective Q and As, grand jury transcripts, Mom's calendars, the church funeral register, the police interview with Billy's older brother. I have taken pains to give that to readers verbatim."

    There is no denying the various discrepancies, I would not go so far as to say complete contradiction. From my perspective the problem seems to be that all of these discrepancies are either a) relatively minor, or b) not legally admissible at trial. As someone who regularly covers court proceedings, you must be aware of the Brady v. United States case. This holds that prosecutors have a duty to provide all potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense prior to trial. This, in turn, means that the defense had all of this information and either chose not to use it - because perhaps it is not as exculpatory as you are making it out to be - or, it is simply hearsay or unable to be authenticaed. Which makes it inadmissible in court.

    You have done a good job of attempting to exonerate these defendants, ex post facto, and of showing the inconsistencies in the story. That does not automatically lead, however, to the conclusion that there was a grand conspiracy in the DA's office, or that these individuals did not receive their due process rights.

    People are prosecuted every day in this country on much flimsier evidence than was present here, but this case has been sensationalized due to the religious context, and the sensationalism is now being perpetuated here.

    You claim that the DA "rolled out the red carpet" and gave the victim special treatment. You present this as a shocking fact, when in fact it should not be surprising to anyone familiar with the justice system. This happens each and every day. Murderers and high level drug dealers are routinely afforded special treatment in RICO and conspiracy cases: placed in witness protection programs or even given complete immunity in exchange for their testimony. It is a calculated decision made by the prosecutors: let one guy off the hook in exchange for the greater good. You may not like the decision, or the fact that the system works that way, but it is a fact and not unusual in a criminal case. At the end of the day Billy's crimes were not really that bad. Petty theft and drug use. Does it call his credibility into question? Of course. But the jury was given that evidence, considered it, and convicted anyway.

    These men had a full and fair trial with high priced defense attorneys representing them, and were convicted. Unless they can show that their constitutional rights were violated, it will remain that way.

    What people should really be upset about is the hundreds or thousands of petty drug offenders and petty criminals who are run over by the justice system each and every day in Philadelphia, with nowhere near the education or resources that these men had.

    1. Ralph - I think you struck a nerve.

    2. @joe1944 - Joe, I think I did, too. I'm listening when you actually have something to say.

    3. Anonymous, you said "People are prosecuted every day in this country on much flimsier evidence than was present here"

      Could you name the piece of evidence presented in this trial that you think convicted Charles Engelhardt?

      If the only answer is the testimony of Billy, then I think we should all lock ourselves in our homes and never speak to another individual. We would do this out of fear. Fear that one person's accusation could be enough evidence for a jury to convict.

    4. @phils.of.reading - I can't speak for the jury. I was not present at the trial. What I can tell you is that a jury of Englehardt's peers, selected with great care and consistent with due process of law, convicted him upon the evidence that was presented, and believed him to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Much of this was probably the victim's testimony. The victim's credibility issues and the inconsistencies in his story that were deemed reliable enough to be admissible were also presented to them, and they still chose to convict.

      I can also tell you that people are convicted based only upon the testimony of the "victim" or the "accuser" all the time. Literally every day. Often times the individual is not even the victim but a co-conspirator or a witness, or a cop. Sometimes they are convicted based on the testimony of violent offenders or scam artists who are getting a deal for the testimony. Sometimes they are convicted based upon inherently biased testimony such as when a police officer testifies against the accused.

      If you are going to live in fear and lock yourself in your home because of the thought that one person's testimony is enough to convict you, my advice would be to give someone else a copy of the key for when you come to terms with reality and change your mind. One person is all it takes if the jury believes that person.

    5. 1. 'Anonymous' claims he is not with the D.A.O., but call me skeptical. Why hide behind anonymity? Do we have a member/relative of the "Doe" family here? Or Billy's contingency lawyer?

      2. Anonymous put up one straw man after another. For example, Ralph has said *nothing* along the line that "these individuals [the accused] did not receive their due process rights." Yet Anonymous somehow raises this as an issue in this case. It isn't.

      See the straw man?

      3. Anonymous also wrote, "People are prosecuted every day in this country on much flimsier evidence than was present here."

      "Every day"? Really? Then I would love for Anonymous to give us an example of a recent conviction in, let's say, the past week based on "flimsier" evidence than the Billy case.

      That would be great.

    6. @skeptical - err, is it To answer your questions:

      1. I'd prefer to be anonymous because of people like you who are clearly not level-headed or reasonable. I have a family and children and a profession and I would just prefer to be anonymous. Is your god-given name? I can promise you that I have no skin in this game. I don't work for the DA. I have never met the "Doe" family. I don't even know the guy's real name. I am just interested in the subject, have an opinion, and like a good debate. You can put your conspiracy theories to bed.

      2. If you had any clue about the legal system, you would know that due process is inherently an issue in any case. Particularly when you are trying to build a case for appeal. Ralph has done a good job of zealously advocating his opinion. I am just presenting my own and due process is a very important legal issue. You must realize that your conspiracy theories are worthless unless there is a legitimate legal reason upon which to stand, right?

      3. Go to any municipal court in any county in the country and sit there for a few hours. You will see hundreds of examples of it. I'm sure I could find some for you, but I thought you were the reporter? I will post some links for you, but you'll have to give me a few hours. I have to go make dinner.

    7. Anonymous - 7:38pm, You are a threat to the thinking of those who are closed minded. I believe you are educated in the law. But you have not taken any side. Since I have only the basic knowledge that anyone should have that lives in the country about our justice system. Its seems you are explaining to everyone how it works, What the facts are.

      Please stay anonymous, no one needs to know who you are.

      Whoever wrote for, I don't think his parents named him that. Or is that the one and only Dave Pierre ?

    8. @Dennis Ecker - Thanks. I find these cases, and this blog, fascinating. I have followed from the beginning but only spoke up recently because Ralph has become increasingly more one-sided. I have my own opinion, but I also enjoy playing devil's advocate somewhat. I am just trying to poke some holes in Ralph's case, because it is largely circumstantial and there are some glaring omissions. It is particularly weak from a legal standpoint, which is most likely why the defense team did not present much of this information. and phils.of.reading - here is some empirical evidence to back up my statements about flimsy evidence and the small amount of evidence required for a conviction. There are many, many more examples out there. Do a google search. As I said, it happens all the time. Mostly going unreported because they are lower level crimes or crimes that do not invoke the passion of a religious group as is the case here.


    9. Back to anonymous, and the comment that I need to come to reality that one person is all it takes.

      I have to agree with you I guess. I had no idea. I
      must admit I have never been in a courtroom until this trial, so this is all new to me.
      I was always under the impression that there needed to be evidence that supported an accusation.

    10. I have to laugh at Anonymous' link. All his link said was that 'eyewitness testimony' is unreliable evidence. Gee. No kidding! Who didn't already know that?

      What does that have to do with anything at all in this discussion? The Billy case had ZERO eyewitness testimony. So the point of your link was ...???

      You explicitly wrote, "People are prosecuted every day in this country on much flimsier evidence than was present here." I asked you to provide some examples from the past couple weeks. You didn't. Instead, you posted an irrelevant link.

      This case involved accusations from well over a decade ago. There was ZERO eyewitness evidence. The accuser had wildly different stories for every person he accused of abusing him. The whole thing is a travesty, as Ralph has said.

      This case brings "flimsy" to a whole new level.

      Now please give us a *flimsier* case than this one that is as *serious* as this one. (Do the names 'McMartin' and 'Amirault' mean anything to you?)

    11. @mediareport - are you as obnoxious in real life as you come across on the internet? Do you have any friends? Something tells me you wouldn't be much fun to hang out with.

      Can you explain to me how eyewitness testimony - of people who are not even the victim - is more solid than the eyewitness testimony of the actual victim? Did you actually read through the link? There are hundreds of murder cases on there with convictions based solely on third-party eyewitness testimony. People who frequently changed their stories, or used rigged lineups to identify the accused, and they were still convicted. Get a clue. And try not to be so condescending, maybe someone will have a beer with you some day.

    12. I'm confused. Is the victim not an eyewitness? Why does Dave keep writing ZERO?

    13. @Sarah - yeah, that confused me too. Apparently he does not realize that a victim is an eyewitness to their own crime....

    14. Except when the eyewitness's own mother and brother in this case have documents that say he was not abused as he claims. He was not present for ANY 6:15 masses during 5th grade. He did not handle wine as an altar boy per his brother being a sexton. His brother said his mom and dad picked them up after all morning masses. His mom says he changed his personality at 14, not 11 as he conveniently claims. This was also backed up by his friends and the teachers that testified during the trial. The church logs handed over to the DA show Avery did not have a funeral mass at the school, it was at the hospital, contradicting Billy's story.

      Look at the facts please, instead of resting on the "eyewitness" account of a liar.

      There was a time in this country where convicted drug addicts and criminals were not entirely credible. Because this kid is not credible and his family documents back up these accounts a lies.

  17. Ralph I also find your choice of photographs for this article more than a little heavy handed.
    A heroin needle; then Eddie Haskel, the archetype for compulsive liars, then Dennis the Menace.
    Juxtaposed to a strong Church facade, then a stained glass window of the "Virgin"; then the bells.
    Subtlety may not be your strong point.

    1. Maybe not, but I know bullshit when I hear it.

    2. Why is it bullshit ? Because someone voiced their opinion you do not agree with ?

      I hope if you ever become an objective reporter, and look at all individuals in the case.

      When you talk about Engelhardt or Shero you will be comparing them to and showing photos of Jerry Sandusky, Roman Polanski or Jeffrey Dahmer.

      Remember they are convicted child abusers no matter what you write or what you believe and that is FACT.

  18. By the way Ralph, one thing I know you've gotten wrong, Graterford Prison isn't in NE Philly.The Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Graterford, also known variously as SCI Graterford (SCIG), Eastern Correctional Institution, Graterford Prison, Graterford Penitentiary, and the Graterford Prison Farm, is a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections prison located in Skippack Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

    1. You are right about Graterford. I stand corrected!

    2. Once again you are good. I believe the only prison or holding facility in northeast Philly is I believe Fromhold on State Road. Don't quote me on the name, I never had the pleasure of being a resident. The only other I know of is I believe Holmsburg and the only other prison is the one over by the art museum.

      attorney/reporter you are good.

    3. Anonymous,

      I think you are missing one big issue here, other than the straight legality of the proceedings.

      Every single detail of Billy's story had been discredited by the testimony of the defense witnesses and his brother who, to the naked eye as a lawyer, has more credibility than a convicted drug addict and criminal.

      The multiple faculty members of the school, who have had no affiliation with Fr. Engelhardt in this case in over a decade, said under oath that the doors of the sacristy were never closed. 4 doors, one leading to a bathroom for church attendees. Would be real weird if at 7:15 AM the door leading to the bathroom was locked and no one at least knocked. They also stated, and it was eventually backed up on this blog by Billy's own brother's signed document, that Sextons and not the Alter Boys, handled the wine after mass. So Billy would not have been caught drinking wine by Father E, since he did not handle the wine. Also, these people and his brother are on record as saying there is always a sexton at church, passing keys to lock and unlock the church doors. So Billy saying he was the only one there is untrue. His own brother said that his mom or dad always picked them up after mass. The brother was still attending St. Jerome's when Billy was in 5th grade when this allegedly occurred and the mother said nothing different when she was on the stand. She produced a calender stating, above all else, that Billy did not serve any 6:15 masses as a 5th grader. These are facts of the case, backed up by his family. These are Billy's words, under oath. Absolutely 100% invalidated.

      Now the calender and his brother document were not used in court, either by court order or choice of the defense, but they are still facts.

      In the Avery case, again, Billy claims he was abused as a bell choir crew member as a 5th grader. But he was not in the bell choir as a 5th grader, which means he was not in the position or have a need to even be in the church at this time after school, unless he was praying which is not his testimony. So logic seems to think this is untrue as well. Let alone Avery, called as a witness for the Prosecution (not the defense as some claim) under oath said he did not know or abuse this person. Some like to discredit it, but I am sure he would have nothing to lose by agreeing with the charges of his plea deal. But he did not and now looks to serve his full sentence.

      Throw in the two successful polygraph results administered by the DA's own detectives and we should all feel very sorry for the current situation Fr. Engelhardt. You may think he had a fair trial, but the jury gave him nothing of the kind.

      Legal or not, the jury was definitely not looking at the actual facts presented in court, which I attended by the way.

    4. @chippy111 - I do not deny that there are inconsistencies in the story. My main point is that the inconsistencies that are being presented here, and those that you reference, are either a)so speculative and unreliable as to be inadmissible in a courtroom, or b)were considered by the jury who chose to convict in spite of them.

      For example, you say that faculty members testified that the sacristy doors were "never" closed, that altar boys "never" handled wine, that his mom and dad "always" picked him up. The problem is that none of this can be proven. Can you really prove that never, even on one or two occassions, that the sacristy doors weren't closed and locked? Can you really prove that his parents "always" picked him up, every single time he served a mass? Can you really prove that he never obtained access to the wine through one of the sextons who had access? The answer is no, you cannot. Despite all of these people stating what "usually" happened, to their knowledge, none of them can speak as to every single day over the past ten plus years. That is why this is called hearsay, and it is inherently unreliable and inadmissible in court. It may make for a nice conspiracy theory, but it has no place in a court of law. Hence why the defense did not present these speculative "facts" at trial.

      As to the rest of your facts, the jury heard and considered them. They heard about the calendar. They heard about him not being in the bell choir. They heard an admitted and convicted felon recant his guilty plea. The jury saw all of that, weighed it against the victim's testimony, and found the defendant guilty.

      Polygraphs are also inadmissible in court because they have been proven over many years to be completely unreliable. That is the reason they are not allowed in court. A polygraph test proves nothing.

      You may not like the jury's verdict, or agree with it - and that is your right - but these purported "facts" do not hold much weight, at least in my opinion.

    5. It just shows that there was more than enough reasonable doubt that the verdicts in the case were astonishing. If you can say they were speculative or unreliable, it does not change the fact that they were presented in court to create doubt, which is what the defense was looking for per the oath the jurors took before it started. There was doubt against every story line Billy had. Not to mention he has told 3 stories to date about what happened with each accuser, which is in itself doubt, considering the extremely violent nature of the earlier versions and how it changed over time to a more evidence free encounter.

      To say that 12 people ruled the way they did floored everyone in that court, including the commonwealth. They were stunned or maybe not.

      The jury had them guilty before day 1. If you want to believe what a law book may say, fine, but I live in the real world, attended the trial, and know what I heard. These guys were railroaded.

      If they got off, it would have called into question the validity of the verdict of Lynn, the big fish in this. There are some people out there who were not going to let that happen.

    6. @chippy - Fair enough. It was obviously a shocking verdict. I was not in the courtroom, just following along in the news, and I was shocked. That does not mean that it was the result of a conspiracy theory, or that it was legally improper. Juries are unpredictable, and do not always get it "right", but believe it or not we have the best justice system in the world. There are two saying that come to mind:

      1 - Reasonable minds can differ
      2 - Juries consist of 12 people who are not smart enough to get out of jury duty.

    7. chippy, has either Avery or Lynn appealed their convictions?

    8. Are you serious with this question?

      No, Lynn wants to stay in jail and complete his sentence. Of course he appealed his conviction.

      Avery took the guilty plea, got the best deal possible to not spend the rest of his life in jail and would likely have no shot at winning an appeal probably.

    9. I believe you know the answers but I will humor you,

      I believe Lynn has, I am sure you can google it if you care to.

      Why would Avery appeal a plea bargain???? Plus its the deal of a lifetime. Please know I have never defended him in regards to his previous actions and behavior, back in the 70's and 80's. I have only ever stated that he was a prosecution witness and when questioned by the DA who called him, he stated he never knew or touched Billy. He could have taken the bait and improved his chances for parole after 2 1/2 years, now is likely looking at the full 5 years, probably in worse conditions today than before the trial started. Read that how you want, I tend to believe Billy lied.

      Kind of like being in the bell choir in 5th grade. Another lie, unless you believe he was so special to be the only 5th grader EVER to be in this bell choir crew. Then you would think if that was the case, he would be a big and strong 10 year old, unlike the picture plastered in court for 3 days during trial showing a little scrawny weak kid as the prosecution PORTRAYED him to be. You can't have it both ways with the bell choir argument in my eyes. Billy 100% lied under oath about this.

    10. You forfeit your right to appeal when you plead guilty. Avery will be lucky if he does not face a perjury charge to add to his sentence.

    11. Would not his attorney have to known he was going to pull such a stunt, and have advised him against it ? Now he faces the charge of perjury, and one other question, is it true for someone who is convicted of a crime show some type of remorse to receive the early out ?

    12. Mavbe he was telling the truth under oath, yet took the sweetheart deal so he would not die in prison if faced with the old accusations.

      The question should be, why would the prosecution put a witness on the stand that may give an answer they didn't want to hear. Shouldn't they have at least asked him beforehand? Cippoletti went ballistic that day in court when he recanted. He had no idea what was going to come out of Avery's mouth. The case was lost right there, yet the jury somehow...

    13. Do you not think he was under oath when he signed his guilty plea and plead guilty to a felony in open court? He was under oath when he plead guilty and when he recanted. So he either perjured himself the first time or the second. There are no two ways about it.

      The prosecution put him on the stand because he was a material witness and an admitted felon in the same conspiracy the defendant was charged with. They probably figured he would tell the truth, or risk perjuring himself. All he had to lose was getting out in 5 instead of 2 1/2. Although he might get some extra time if they decide to charge him for it.

    14. He was under oath when he agreed to the plea. Please see an earlier article on this blog, post trial, concerning Avery and his lawyer, Mr. Wallace who has stated that he was never asked the question "Did you ever abuse Billy Doe?". If he was never asked the question that he was asked in court, he didn't lie under oath the during the plea deal.

      And you say that this and that injustice happen all the time in the world of trials and judgements and it is so great because people can appeal in this case.

      Don't you think that people will agree to pleas everyday to save jailtime, even if the crime of the plea was not committed? Say having 56 bags of Heroin with intent to distribute and pleaing it down to carrying a banned substance and getting accelerated probation, like our Billy here .

    15. @Sarah and @anonymous,

      Yes, Monsignor Lynn's attorneys did appeal his conviction and you can view the appeal's 'progress' here:

      Note the appeal filing date (August 10, 2012), the date that the trial judge's 'Trial Records and Opinions' were due - (October 9, 2012), and when the records were actually received - (March 7, 2013).

      Page 4 shows how Lynn's lawyers had to petition the Superior Court to 'compel' the lower court to send the long overdue records 'forthwith'.

    16. Thank you, Joe, much appreciated. I haven't been able to bring up the link but will figure it out tomorrow. Lynn's grounds for appeal seem incredibly important to this discussion, but I guess I'm the only one who thinks so. I hope to read it tomorrow.

    17. @SarahTX2 - Hi.

      I can assure you that you're not the only one who understands the significance of the Lynn conviction and the ramifications of his appeal. Unfortunately, you're not going to find any real substance in the on-line information that I've shared with you as - I believe - the meat of the appeal itself is sealed.

      It took the lower, trial court a very long time to provide the Trial Report and Order to the Superior Court.

  19. Ralph rocks! I love Ralph, an the rest of you dissenters can't hold a candle to him.

    However, I'm glad you're here. Because it wouldn't be as interesting if we all agreed, all of the time.

  20. I keep reading Dennis and various anonymous people say that they followed the trial from the beginning?

    But I have yet to read a reply to this question? What is the piece of evidence that you think convicted Charles engelhardt?

    Would like to hear if you were on the jury, what was the reasoning on why you would convict him. I think it is a simple question, but the only reply has been: I can't be in the mind of the jury.

  21. RALPH - What gives you the damn right to remove any of my comments, especially when that comment did not contain any threats, vulgarity or personal information ? What gives you the right to conduct your own personal censhorship because someone does not agree with what you have to say?

    YOU ARE A COWARD and it is true what I said before you do FEAR me. You fear anyone who has their own opinion and thoughts. How many times have you done this before ?

    The same judicial system that allowed you to bring suit years ago, is the same judicial system that convicted two other cowards whose only strength was to physically and mentally abuse a child. Is your thinking the justice system was perfect and worked great back then, and now it is wrong, and you must come up with excuses to explain the outcome.

    You bit off more than you can chew. People who are educated 10X more than me also see your true colors, and one other thing you need to think about. The comments that where made about you years ago are so true, although the person was ordered to retract that statement . I will bet you that individual meant that statement when he said it and in his heart still means it today.

    Although you state you do not like to relive those times, you must and you will because they will NEVER go away, and if I cared who you really are I wonder what else I could find.

    So if you have any integrity left post this comment. Now it case you don't know what that word means it is defined as adherence to moral principles, soundness of moral character,honesty.


    1. Dennis, you really are hysterical at this point. Calm down, take a deep breath. I did not personally remove any comments, except for one by Jim Robertson where he was telling somebody to f-- off. Here's the rules, I don't mind a free-wheeling discussion, even when I'm the target. It's part of the game. But if you can't keep it civil, and if you out anybody who doesn't want to be outed, somebody on this blog who oversees it is going to whack your comment.

      As for the rest of your hysterical remarks, I don't fear you, I feel sorry for you. You are blind. But you can do whatever you want, if you play by the rules.

    2. How did it get from"being pissed off" to "hysterical"?????
      Did I miss something here.
      You aren't just talking to anybody here, Ralph, your talking to a victim. Do you know what that means? We have radar for bullshit one mile high.
      And you may be absolutely sincere but now I see your playing in L.A. your entitled to be anywhere you want. Bad D.A.'s? Sure. People who are supposed to get language right and don't? Peter principal. Stupid people a dime a dozen.
      I think it's great your attempting to den an injustice if one's occured. But have you noticed who and what is hanging on your coat tail?
      I've no problem with all truth being told as long as ALL truths are told. And some are much bigger than one misused word.
      I and others have handed you our experiences of living with SNAP and from you zip?
      What you don't think writing about the fraudulent misrepresentation of victims by the Church by the creation of SNAP and VOTF, Controlling the opposition by becoming them, just might be a bigger story for you?
      Than bad D.A. can't write legal English? The appeals courts are full of that stuff.That's what appeals courts are for.
      But the Catholic Church creating and controlling the "oldest and largest" victims group. That's no story for you?
      I'd love to see the photos you could pick for that piece.: Jim Henson and the Muppets, maybe? Howdy Doody?

  22. I'm fine. Dont you worry about me. Your true character has shown through once again, you put your foot in your mouth. "ITS PART OF THE GAME" ? You do not understand this is not a game. It is not a win or lose game. Although you may think it is. If you want to look at it that way, look at the score.
    Survivors 4, abusers 0.

    Here are the facts:

    Avery - Admitted to abuse
    Lynn - Found guilty of protecting abusers
    Engelhardt - Found guilty of abuse
    Shero - Found guilty of abuse.

    Now in a short time those last two individuals will be sentenced to time in prison. Once again because they have been found guilty and whatever you write will not change that. The jury for whatever reason found Billy credible. Now our justice system will offer these individuals the RIGHT to an appeal, no matter what I or you write. They will most likely be placed into protective custody for years for there own safety until their appeal is heard, and most likely will look over their shoulders everytime a guard is not holding their hands.

    Those are the facts.

    Now I took that deep breath as you suggested, with every civil bone in my body I offer this to you. If an appeal happens and both Engelhardt and Shero are found innocent of all charges I will post an apology to you and your followers and in my post I will state I was wrong. Now, if that appeal happens and Engelhardt and Shero are found once again guilty of any charges against them you must give an apology to survivors on this post and state you were wrong.

    I am not interested in anyone elses comments. This is an offer between myself and Ralph.

    I will be looking forward to your answer.

    If this blog site is not inservice at the end of the appeals we will agree on another public media outlet.

    1. Your very self righteous Dennis.

    2. I am only saying I am a man and I will admit if I was wrong. If Billy has lied it does no good for anyone who is seeking justice for these crimes. It only makes it tougher. But the jury spoke loud and clear.

      I have a belief, and Ralph has his. I am only asking if he is willing to defend his as i am willing to do.

      He's been through this before.

    3. Reading comprehension is not your strong suit, Dennis.

      Engelhardt and Shero may have been "found guilty," but the point of all the work that Ralph has been doing is to show that the *actual evidence and facts* in this case strongly indicate that a terrible injustice has occurred - that these men actually appear to be innocent of the crimes for which have been "found guilty."

      It is a sad reality of our world that some people are falsely accused and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. As Ralph has repeatedly presented, the Engelhardt/Shero case surely seems to fit this mold.

  23. I need to say to Axel,
    The singer Axel Foley was a victim of childhood sex abuse.
    I think the real Axel would be a bit more respectful to any one else who was harmed. Don't you?

    1. That would be Axel Rose, and Axel Rose has legions of credibility issues.

    2. You are so right. my most sincere apologies.

    3. I.m agreeing with you that I got the name completely wrong.
      I don't agree with the last part about Mr. Rose.

  24. Axel Foley is an Eddie Murphy character.

  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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