Monday, March 11, 2013

The Rap Sheet For Two Star Witnesses

By Ralph Cipriano

They are two troubled young men with criminal records, suicidal tendencies, and a history of drug abuse.

"Billy Doe" is the grand jury's psuedonym for a 24-year-old former ambulance driver from Northeast Philadelphia now working as a landscaper in Florida where he's enrolled in a drug rehab. Billy Doe is the victim who claims back when he was a fifth and sixth grader at St. Jerome's Church in Northeast Philadelphia, between 1998 and 2000, he was raped by two priests and a Catholic school teacher.

Billy's own mother on the witness stand described him as a "lost soul" who was kicked out of two high schools. Billy has six adult arrests for drugs and retail theft, and has been in and out of 23 drug rehabs.

Mark Bukowski is a 31-year-old former short-time Marine who went AWOL and was discharged under "other than honorable conditions." Mark's own mother has accused him of stealing from her and her husband, and she told police that she was "suspicious" of Mark's claim to police that he had been a victim of a violent home invasion. Mark Bukowski has been arrested three times, and has a criminal track record for attempting to deceive law enforcement officials.

Lots of caution flags here if you're going to run with anything these guys tell you.

But to District Attorney Seth Williams, Billy Doe and Mark Bukowski were star witnesses for the D.A.'s self-described "historic" prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Even though both men were unstable drug-addicted criminals.

Here's what the rap sheets have to say about the D.A.'s two star witnesses.


Billy Doe's first arrest as an adult came on May 8, 2008, when he was 19. He was arrested in Northhampton Township, Bucks County, for possession of drug paraphernalia and an offensive weapon, namely brass knuckles. Billy Doe pleaded guilty on June 30, 2010 and was put on probation for a year under accelerated rehabilitative disposition [ARD]. If Billy stayed clean for a year, under ARD, the arrest would have been expunged from Billy's record. But that's not how it worked out.

On Sept. 24, 2008, when he was 20, Billy was arrested by the Gloucester Township N.J. Police on eight charges, including: possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and/or hashish, possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a hypodermic needle. On Oct. 2, 2009, all charges against Billy Doe in the Gloucester Township case were dismissed.

On Nov. 11, 2009, Billy was arrested for retail theft in Northeast Philadelphia, but the case was  withdrawn on March 8, 2010 because a witness didn't show up.

On Jan 14, 2010, Billy Doe was arrested for retail theft and taking merchandise in Philadelphia. But on April 29, 2010, the case was continued because Billy Doe was enrolled in an in-patient drug program. On July 8, 2010, before Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore, the charges of retail theft and taking merchandise were withdrawn because a witness didn't show up.

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.

On Jan. 7, 2011, there was a preliminary hearing on the heroin case. At the request of Billy's attorney, Brian McLaughlin, a motion to suppress evidence, namely the 56 bags of heroin, was granted by Judge Adam Beloff. The defense's claim was that a police officer did not have probable cause to stop Billy Doe, and that the defendant did nothing to justify a pat-down by the officer.

The Commonwealth had 30 days to appeal the case to state Superior Court. The prosecution ultimately chose not to file an appeal, and the case against Billly was withdrawn on Feb. 7, 2011.

There's a question of whether Judge Beloff, who has since committed suicide, should have recused himself before ruling on Billy Doe's case. Billy Doe had previously consulted with civil attorney Adam Beloff -- before he became a judge -- on whether he could sue the archdiocese.

Brian McLaughlin, Billy's lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

On Nov. 10, 2011, Billy Doe was arrested in Philadelphia for possession of a controlled substance. It's Billy's only open case, and it has a curious history. Billy's sixth arrest between 2008 and 2011 is a simple drug possession case that's been continued eight times and is still open after 16 months.

On Nov. 30, Brian McLaughlin, Billy's lawyer, asked for a continuance because Billy was in a treatment center. Billy was listed as eligible for an accelerated misdemeanor program. The case was continued to Jan. 11, 2012, because Billy's lawyer said he was still in a treatment facility in Florida.

The case was continued again to Feb. 8 , 2012, when Billy Doe's lawyer rejected the accelerated misdemeanor program. The case was continued to a hearing on March 12, 2012, when a trial date was posted for April 23, 2012.

But Billy Doe's attorney got another continuance until June 22, 2012. On June 22, 2012, the judge granted another continuance because the defendant was in another rehab again. On Sept. 12, 2012, the defense asked the court to continue the case for further investigation. There was no objection from the Commonwealth.

On Oct. 30, 2012, court was closed due to bad weather. On Dec. 7, 2012, Billy's lawyer asked for another continuance because now that Billy was living in Florida, he wanted to get into that accelerated diversion program.

The case was rescheduled for Feb 12, 2013, after another the judge granted another defense request for a continuance because the case needed further investigation.

Billy Doe's last criminal case is now scheduled on the court calendar for March 15, 2013.


In 2005, Mark Bukowski was arrested and charged with theft by deception, eight counts of forgery, seven counts of theft, eight counts of receiving stolen property, and eight counts of identity theft.

The incident that led to the charges was described in an Oct. 21, 2005 affidavit of probable cause. In the document, the investigating officer, Detective Chis Bush, is repeatedly referred to as "your affiant" or the filer of the affidavit:

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005 at 0350 hours, Mark Bukowski contacted the Newtown Township Police and reported that he was a victim of an armed home invasion, assault and theft which occurred at his residence, 116 Justice Drive, within Newtown Township ...

Mark related after 0300 hours, while watching television on the first floor, he was confronted by two subjects who manage to gain entry to the residence. One of the subjects attacked him with an unknown sharp object resulting in cuts  to his arm and chest area. Mark stated it was a violent struggle lasting about a minute. Mark said during the struggle the second subjected located in the adjacent room was going through his belongings.

Mark reported items including $675 in cash, prescription medicine, a DVD player and at least one wrist watch was stolen.

Your affiant processed the scene and examined Mark as well as his clothing for physical evidence. I noticed that mark had several small superficial cuts on his right arm and chest with no apparent additional sign of injuries to him. Your affiant further noticed that the t-shirt reportedly worn by Mark during the attack displayed no blood or tearing at the injury location.

Your affiant inquired with Mark as to the details of the stolen $675 in cash. Mark stated on Feb. 18, 2005 he contacted his co-owner, Mike Kirchhoefer of Zoom Auto, and arranged for his pay, [the cash] to be given to him on Feb. 18, 2005.

Your affiant personally spoke with the co-owner Mike Kirchhoefer on Feb. 23, 2005 and learned that not only was Mark Bukowski not a co-owner, he wasn't employed by Zoom Auto, much less given $675 in cash.

Your affiant also spoke with Mark's mother ... who was home during the reported incident and heard nothing. Mrs. Bukowski related that she was suspicious of Mark's story because on Friday Feb. 18, 2005, she learned that Mark had recently stolen her personal checks and issued them for goods and services.

Mrs. Bukowski told your affiant she threatened Mark, that if he didn't sell his wrist watches and repay her by Monday Feb. 21, 2005, she would report him to the police.

Your affiant had further discovered that Mark was a prescription drug abuser and had recently stolen power tools from his father which were sold to the Barracks Trading Post.

Your affiant requested on numerous occasions for Mark Bukowski to grand another interview and he had refused. It is requested that Mark Bukowski be brought before you to answer the said charges.

On March 31, 2006, Mark Bukowski pleaded guilty to filing a false report and was sentenced to jail for 1 to 12 months; he also pleaded guilty to furnishing authorities with false information, and was given another 1 to 12 month sentence. He also pleaded guilty to: forgery, identity theft, two counts of filing a false statement, running a stop sign, driving without a license and was given a maximum of 18 months. The remaining charges were dropped.

On Feb. 22, 2011, 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 30, 2011, Bukowski pleaded guilty to forgery, theft, identity theft and was given a sentence of three years in jail.

Mark Bukowski was scheduled this week to be the lead witness against Father James J. Brennan in a retrial on attempted rape charges that last year wound up in an hung jury split 11-1 for acquittal. The case, however, has been postponed until Oct. 21.


  1. If I wanted to come up with two witnesses most likely to undermine a prosecution case, I don't think I could do better than these two drug-addicted criminals.
    In any normal court of law, they'd close their files and apologize for wasting the defendants' time.
    In the kangaroo court of a witch hunt, though.....

    1. Well, that did not happen. The jury found the individual credible and came down with guilty verdicts on both defendants.

    2. That is incorrect. The jury had their emotions preyed upon in a Goebbellian manor, same as most of the citizens of Philly. And you are playing a role in that deception.


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