Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Billy Doe's Lucky Streak Continues

By Ralph Cipriano

Since he became the district attorney's star witness, "Billy Doe" has had a remarkable run of good fortune in the criminal courts.
The scene outside CJC after the Engelhardt-Shero Verdict

The charges from two previous arrests in 2009 and 2010, both for retail theft, were dropped in 2010 after witnesses in both cases did not show up for court.

On Jan. 7, 2011, a judge dismissed a charge of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, after ruling that police did not have probable cause on June 9, 2010 to stop Billy Doe on the street. When police searched Billy Doe, they found 56 bags of heroin in his shorts. However, the late Judge Adam Beloff ruled the heroin was inadmissible as evidence; the charges were dropped and the case dismissed.

Billy Doe's most recent arrest, a simple drug possession case on Nov. 10, 2011, has been continued nine times in 18 months. During that time, Billy Doe appeared as a prosecution witness at two trials testifying against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

But now that the trials are over, and Billy Doe is done as a witness in the criminal courts, that last drug possession charge is about to disappear.

On April 11, according to court records, Billy Doe pleaded no contest to the drug possession charge, and entered into an accelerated misdemeanor program [AMP]. If Billy Doe satisfactorily completes the requirements of AMP, possibly another drug rehab and/or fines, at a hearing set for May 23rd, that drug possession charge is scheduled to be expunged from Billy Doe's record.

So while Billy Doe continues to be a lucky guy in the criminal courts, it's a bit of a mystery how he qualified for the AMP program.

He's been arrested six times between 2008 and 2011, and he's previously bombed out of a similar program.

Don't expect officials to shine any light on the mystery.

As he has in the past, Brian McLaughlin, Billy Doe's criminal lawyer, did not return a request for comment.

The district attorney's office, as they have for two months now, have continued to refuse to answer any questions from this reporter regarding Billy Doe.

So we are left with what's said in court records.

Here's what we know about Billy Doe's previous enrollment in a program similar to AMP.

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 a program known as accelerated rehabilitative disposition [ARD].

If Billy stayed clean for a year, under ARD, the charges from his 2008 arrest would have been expunged from Billy's record.

But that's not what happened, because on Jan. 28, 2010, Billy Doe was in Graterford prison for a parole violation when Detective Andrew Snyder picked him up and drove to the district attorney's office to start the investigation into Billy Doe's charges that he was raped as an altar boy at St. Jerome's by three different predators.

The court records do not say why Billy Doe was in Graterford. Maybe he got arrested again, or flunked a drug test. But instead of being expunged, those two charges from Billy Doe's 2008 arrest are still listed on his criminal record.

Here's what the records have to say about Billy Doe's latest arrest, and it's convoluted passage through the court system.

It began on Nov. 10, 2011, when Billy Doe was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with possession of a controlled substance. 

On Nov. 30, 2011, Brian McLaughlin, Billy's lawyer, asked for a continuance because Billy was in a treatment center. At that time, 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, records show, Billy Doe's lawyer rejected the accelerated misdemeanor program [AMP]. The case was continued to a hearing on March 12, 2012, when a trial date was posted for April 23, 2012.

But on April 23, 2012, Billy Doe's attorney got another continuance until June 22, 2012. On June 22, 2012, a judge granted another continuance because the defendant was in another drug rehab. On Sept. 12, 2012, the defense asked the court to continue the case because it supposedly needed 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 had changed his mind and wanted to get into that accelerated misdemeanor program.

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

On March 15, 2013, the judge granted another continuance until April 11, when Billy Doe pleaded no contest.

Criminal lawyers familiar with AMP said they were surprised that anybody would get a second chance at the program after previously turning it down. 

Billy Doe also got into a version of AMP that calls for the expunging of the charges against him, a program typically not available to somebody like Billy Doe who has a criminal record.

So, in other words, the D.A. did Billy Doe a favor that he ordinarily would not be entitled to.

If you're familiar with the history of this case, as chronicled on this blog, that's nothing new.

There are several remaining questions from the D.A.'s latest example of favorable treatment for Billy Doe.

Did the district attorney strike a deal with Billy Doe's lawyers prior to the two archdiocese trials where they would allow Billy's drug case to be continued time and time again until after the two archdiocese trials were over?

It sure looks like it.

That way Billy Doe would not have to answer any embarrassing questions on the witness stand about any deal he and his lawyers may have struck with the district attorney's office.

Did Billy Doe's role as the D.A.'s star witness against the archdiocese have any effect on the D.A.'s decision to agree to the numerous continuances in Billy's drug case, as well as letting Billy Doe into AMP?

We await answers from Silent Seth Williams.

Sadly, no one else is pursuing him.

In Philadelphia, with the exception of this blog, no other media outlet has shown any interest in either the shocking verdict in the Engelhardt-Shero case, or the lingering questions about the district attorney's prosecution of the church.

The national media, to date, has also been absent from the discussion.

So District Attorney Seth Williams has been able to escape answering any questions about a compromised investigation, a flawed grand jury report, and an unstable star witness whose allegations have been refuted by his own mother, his older brother, and the priests, nuns and teachers at St. Jerome's.
Silent Seth

But all of that, dear readers, is about to change.

The National Catholic Reporter is about to publish a long story about the district attorney's self-described "historic" prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

You may know the author.

All of which puts Silent Seth in a bit of a quandary.

Stiffing a local blog is one thing; stiffing a respected national media outlet is another matter.

Will the district attorney continue to stonewall, or will he finally have to answer some questions?

Stay tuned.


  1. Amazing work Ralph! Looking forward to the "stay tuned!"

    1. If you listen carefully, you can hear the sounds of Dennis Ecker screaming.

  2. This has been going on for years. These scumbags get released into the community and inflict further harm. Shooting cops and selling drugs. Seth, you took an oath. Remember that?! I guess the Mayors office looks too good to see the truth. You got swindled by a career criminal, a lowlife drug dealer. You are just as bad as the rest of the politicians in this city. I can only hope that Ralph finally gets this story out to the national media and you and your Cronies are ran out of this city. "Who will guard the guards themselves?!"

  3. This is valuable stuff. Ralph's entries remind me of the way stories used to be written. He is like reporters used to be. Bright, eager, right on the money. Going after the truth..exposing the disingenuous, deceptive characters in the world around us.

    1. LOL! Maybe you have Ralph confused with Hildy Johnson in His Girl Friday? Roz Russell was a much better actor than Ralph.

  4. Great news, and great work, Ralph.
    The media also tried very hard to ignore the Kermit Gosnell trial - but they couldn't, and were shamed into providing coverage. In fact, we have gone from a news black-out to a Fox News special documentary on the case which will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.
    I'll await the NCR report with interest. I suspect it might serve as a useful stepping stone to a mainstream expose of this ridiculous charade.

  5. Great news and great work, Ralph.
    The media also tried to ignore the Kermit Gosnell trial; but they were shamed into covering it. In fact we've gone from media black-out to a special Fox News documentary on the case will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.
    I'll await the NCR report with interest, and in the hope that it may lead to a mainstream expose of this ridiculous charade.

  6. Well, hey, don't feel alone. You've got Dave Pierre and probably Bill Donohue on your side. That's practically like having God on your side, isn't it? As you bear down on a drug addict and defend convicted criminals, who knows, maybe the cavalry will arrive. Somehow I just don't think it's gonna be NCR. They might print your side in all fairness, but there's just no appetite for doggedly pursuing victims of child sex abuse.

    Have you tried Alex Jones and Infowars?

    1. NCR has been on the clerical sex abuse scandal since the 80s, decades ahead of the Boston Globe and the rest of the mainstream media. Don't buy what you're peddling!

    2. SarahTX2,

      You never seem to have a handle on the reality of things that are discussed here. I suggest you familiarize yourself with what the Catholic League and Media Report are all about and the reason for their inceptions as well as what a good, professional investigative reporter, like Mr.Cipriano, sets out to do. You always sound like you have are a throwback to the Know Nothing Party.

    3. Sarah again you show your true colors and your faith to SNAP. You continue to ignore the facts of this case as they have been presented to you by this individual who is an independent party to the case at hand. You continue to be blind and believe that any allegation against an individual is valid. False allegations are true and valid in his case. Ralph has continued to report base on his biased opinion and he should be commended and not have to deal with an individual only concerned with raising money for a false initiative.

    4. Josie, by chance, have you seen the Catholic League's tax filing? Of course, it's tax-exempt, but it still has to file disclosures. Do you know how much Bill Donohue earns through that tax-exempt organization which is in no way affiliated by law with the Catholic Church? He's become a very rich man off of it.

      The bulk of donations go directly into Bill Donohue's bank account. He got rich by setting up a Catholic-sounding organization and piggy-backing off of that religion's tax-exempt status, and then he easily keeps it all going by stoking religious zealots such as yourself. No doubt, some of the Anonymous comments here are from Bill Donohue protecting his personal wealth.

      Now let's back up a little. What is it that you think you know about the Catholic League? How many members does it have? What percentage of donations constitute Bill Donohue's salary and benefits?

    5. You are asking stupid questions, Sarah. I suggested that you familiarize yourself with what Catholic League is all about from its inception. Why are you going on about membership and Mr. Donahue's salary? Also, there is a disclosure that says that they are not associated with the NY archdiocese. Once again, you can't possibly come across as a knowledgeable person by just taking little bits and pieces of information and not understanding anything or following the discussion. You seemed disconnected ALL OF THE TIME. By the way, Planned Parenthood CEO's salary is 400K, Susan Komen CEO's salary $400K-both non-profit/tax exempt Other non-profit CEOs make even more. You are naive with an obvious agenda. .

    6. Again you try to close the discussion and then open it right back up. Donohue doesn't make 400K. He makes millions. And you're right, the Catholic League is not a Catholic Church-sanctioned organization in any way. It's merely a vehicle operating under the guise of religion in order to produce a gigantic tax-exempt income.

      By the way, I completely disregard your insults with the full knowledge that you're unable to articulate your thoughts without them.

  7. Ralph - you've done an exceptional job of unbiased reporting. I'm hoping that the forthcoming NCR article will serve to prompt a thorough investigation of the DA's tactics in this particular case.

  8. Agreed, and props to NCR. But there's no way they're going to defend the AOP. If Shero tried to kill himself with two sleeping pills, sorry, not defensible. Totally fake. And suspect.

  9. Thanks Justone for trying to get us off track here. The Kermit Gosnell trial has nothing to do with this. This is about men who seek sexual gratification from children. The Gosnell trial has nothing to do with it. Unless you think that abortion has a lot to do with men's sexual interest in children. Is that your point?

    1. Sarah - Correction, this is about an injustice that was done by the DA looking to advance his career and the entire judicial system. Please read the facts of the case before your next comment. Your lack of knowledge is evident and irrational.

    2. Sarah,
      Gosh...there you go again....clueless as to the happenings in Philadelphia. The talk of the town (and now national) is the ignorance of the national media in not covering the Gosnell murder trial until now. The subject of the DA being so silent with regards to the recent sex abuse trial, the surprising verdict, the lack of investigative coverage of it is what is relevant here as well. This has been brought out in other entries. Big Trial is the only reliable source of correct information at this time. Why do you constantly miss the point????? It is mind boggling how you comment without being aware of what is being discussed..Wow!

  10. Wow! Congrats, Ralph. Can't wait to read your story. You are our Hero, with your fantastic reporting!

  11. May I politely ask what people's contention is with SNAP? Have they not stepped in and helped children of sexual abuse when the AOP looked the other way? Just curious...

    1. May I "politely" say that you are not well read in the SNAP matter and suggest that you go to Media Report to satisfy your curiosity and enlighten you so that you can comment with some vision.May I further suggest that you bring yourself up to date on what the AOP does for genuine victims of abuse. There is NO other group that has the preventive measures in place that the AOP does. Check it out!

    2. You'll notice that the people who hate SNAP also hate anyone who advocates for children. I have never had a single affiliation with SNAP but I'm hated equally by the SNAP haters. It's almost a universal rule among them.

      I'll mention that one exception is Jim Robertson who seems to have a legitimate beef with SNAP but does like other child advocates.

    3. Josie Bailey,"The Media Report" supports Fr. Gordon MacRae now doing 33-66 years!

    4. Yes. The good Fr. MacRae pled guilty to some of the charges agaiinst him (like Avery!) and has been peddling his "...but I'm innocent!" junk for years, all to no avail. Just like Avery, Lynn, and the rest of that crew, all their whining will be for naught. The jury has spoken, the verdict is in... GUILTY!

    5. Anon 8:25PM (AKA D. Ecker) - have you forgotten of the appeal process? the injustice that occurred in these two trials will be undone. yes, reputations are destroyed but the end result of an inquiry into the DA's handling of this case, the junkie kid they groomed over the course of 4 years and let's not forget about the judges themselves whose role played a key part in the verdicts that were delivered will bring great satisfaction and real justice will be served in the philadelphia court system. oh and one more, the money that billy doe will never see or i should say his parents who are just as guilty in the conspiracy with their son and DA.

  12. Nice try, Anonymous Apr 16 6:18 AM, but not quite good enough.

    SNAP claims to be interested in helping victims of abuse in all parts of society. So they should, as it is well known that the incidence of historical abuse within the Church (mainly from the mid 60s to mid 80s) is inferior to that in other religions and positively dwarfed by abuse in secular institutions and families. Yet their very name (“priests”) and a cursory glance at their website make it all too clear who their target is and what their real purpose is. They are an anti-Catholic, bigoted organization.

    SNAP spends a lot of time allying with media and lawyers seeking to corral plaintiffs for lawsuits, and excoriating the Catholic Church. This "support group" (please!) has happily taken generous financial contributions from…..yes, victims lawyers. You see how this works. In actual fact the issue of child abuse is just a pretext for the group’s hatred of the Church. How else do you explain SNAP president Barbara Blaine's passionate letter of support on behalf of a Louisiana SNAP psychiatrist who was arrested with over 100 images of child pornography on his computer? Or when they paired with a left-wing activist group in Sept 2011 to petition the ICC (Hague) to charge Pope Benedict with "crimes against humanity." An absurd publicity stunt.

    Post an even slightly critical or questioning comment on their carefully manipulated website and your IP address will be immediately blocked. Suspicious? Do an internet search and you will find victims with stories of being physically threatened by this organization.

    But don't take my word for it. Besides the excellent site and its "SNAP watch", this article, from a Lutheran pastor, is just one of many I have come across:

    "SNAP is No Fit Advocate for Sexual Abuse Victims"
    October 13, 2011
    Russell E. Saltzman (Lutheran Pastor)

    1. Thanks justone, good information to check out.

      Which I will.

    2. Just Stone, But Ratzinger did commit crimes against humanity, the deaf boys just one example. The fact that SNAP took it to the World Court where nothing will happen only makes SNAP appear like it gives a shit for victims when the exact opposite is true.
      And what, right wingers support child rape and coverup?
      SNAP was created by the Church to Control victims. And is it self part of an extreme rightwing coverup created by the hierarchy.

    3. Are all who post here subject to "visible after approval" or is it just me?

    4. So far I've had time to check out your first paragraph. My source is the Vatican. The Vatican-sponsored symposium estimates that 100,000 American children were abused by priests. Now, which religion can you name that acknowledges damaging 100,000 American children?

      I'm curious about something else. Are you of the belief that Ireland and Australia also had inferior rates of abuse by priests but are swamped with anti-Catholic bigotry?

    5. We've had to change our system thanks to Dennis Ecker, who, by the way, has earned the first lifetime ban in the history of

      Everybody's playing by the same rules, Jim. All comments have to be approved. It's slow, but it prevents one demented individual from posting the same message more than 100 times.

  13. Here's the bottom line, despite what the prosecuting DA said in court about this "alleged victim" not getting preferential treatment on this most recent of his several drug cases, (on the court record mind you), he did once again, miraculously with the deliberate action by this DA's office, escape any meaningful punishment for this latest crime. All I can hope for is an independent investigation of the entire grand jury and trial process particularly in the most recent case which should include a secondary investigation into this latest court case of "Billy Doe".

  14. Replies
    1. Jim Robertson = deep thinker.

  15. If you were buggered by a priest you might turn to drugs as well.

    Thanks to the research of another person, here are the instructions; "priests are advised to never admit to guilt !"

  16. This is such a joke. Yea ask mediareport for unbias info. How many in jail say " I did it."?

    1. another irrelevant post......please make it stop

  17. What is a joke is that Billy Doe is not in a cell next to the innocent men he has accused. I hope he, his parents, and the DA get a conscience one day and tell the truth that none of this happened. Maybe his brother will magically appear one day too, that coward. It is amazing what a groundswell of negative press, no evidence, and a 24 year old loser's refuted testimony will get in this world. Innocent until proven guilty, not when you are a priest. This is all a crock of shit that he is not at least paying for his crimes, not to mention the perjury he was trained to speak of after three years under big Seth's wing.

  18. This is the Duke lacrosse case all over again. You'd think these DAs would know you shouldn't prosecute without corroborating evidence of some sort. The extravagant nature of the "victim's" claims in and of themselves should have been a red flag warning to drop the case.


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