Saturday, June 8, 2013

"An Easy Target"

By Ralph Cipriano

Bernard Shero can be alone in a room with somebody, but he doesn't know who's there until he hears a voice.

"He can't distinguish faces," his mother Bonnie says. "He's done that all his life. He doesn't know it's them until they start talking."

"He has to get this close," his father, Bob, says. He's leaning on his wife's shoulder, peering over her at a menu she's holding inside a Bucks County diner. If Bernard was walking into the diner today, Bob says, he would have had to tell him, "Watch out, Bern, there's a step coming."

Bernard Shero was born with congenital cataracts. Between the ages of six months and seven years, he had 23 eye operations. He's worn glasses since he was 18 months old. He's legally blind in his right eye, and can't drive at night.

Bernard Shero has spent a lifetime peering at the world through thick lenses, and getting too close to people. That's why, Bonnie Shero is convinced, Billy Doe accused her son of rape.

"I think he was an easy target because of his handicap," his mother says of her son. After five years of legal drama, Bonnie Shero is worn out.

"It's been hell, it's been a nightmare," she says. "You wake up in the morning thinking about it. You go to sleep thinking about it. It's on your mind constantly."

And it's about to get worse. On Wednesday, June 12th, the 49-year-old Shero will be sentenced after being convicted Jan. 30 on five sex abuse charges. He's facing up to 57 years in jail.

Bonnie Shero says when Bernard was seven years old, she considered sending him to the Overbrook School for the Blind, but decided instead to mainstream him. Her thinking was, "he has to live in a sighted world."

"Now, I think I made the wrong decision," she says. Her son had a hard time as a kid in public school.

"Kids were cruel to him," his mother says. "They would take his coat. They would take his glasses. They would put thumbtacks on his seat. Lots of times he wouldn't tell us what was going on in school. I had no idea everything that was going on with him."

Bernie wanted to be a special ed teacher, to help kids like himself, but he couldn't find a job. He finally got hired as an elementary school teacher at St. Jerome School, in Northeast Philadelphia.

In 2009, when Billy Doe first made his accusation of sex abuse, Bernard Shero was speechless.

"He was shocked, he was dumbfounded," says his sister Robin. He had to dig out an old yearbook to remember who Billy Doe was, an 11-year-old kid in his sixth grade homeroom class during the 1999-2000 school year. "He didn't remember him off the top of his head," his sister says.

"When the charges hit, our world fell apart," his mother says. "Bernard's world fell apart."

His mom kept telling him, "We know you're innocent. We'll be there for you as long as you need it. We'll always be there for you no matter what."

On the night of Feb. 10, 2011, Detectives Drew Snyder and "Gibby" Brook drove out to the borough of Bristol to arrest Bernard Shero. They knocked on the door of Shero's second-story apartment, but nobody answered. The detectives heard a loud thump inside, so they called the fire department.

The fire department arrived at 10:35 p.m. Using a fire department ladder, Detective Brook climbed up on the roof and entered the building through an unlocked window. The detective handcuffed a groggy Bernard Shero and led him downstairs to unlock the door. 

The cops said Shero had "overdosed' on two sleeping pills he took at 11 a.m. The detectives searched the apartment but could not find any more sleeping pills. They did find a suicide note addressed to "Mom and Dad." An ambulance brought Shero to Lower Bucks Hospital.

From the hospital, the detectives called Robin Shero, and the family raced to the hospital. Bonnie Shero remembers one of the detectives telling her, I didn't want to arrest your son, I wanted to arrest [Cardinal] Bevilacqua.

Robin is an EMT. A nurse let her see her brother's charts. "There was nothing in his blood stream," she says, "there was nothing in his system to say he overdosed."

The family does not believe that Bernard Shero was attempting to kill himself that night; they maintain he took two sleeping pills simply to get some rest.

The police say Bernard Shero was trying to kill himself. His lawyer, Burton A. Rose, agrees.

His family still doesn't believe it.

Five days after the arrest, Bernard's parents moved their son out of his apartment, and in with them.

"It's a small town," his mother says. "When word got out around, everybody thinks you're guilty until proven innocent. He just couldn't live there any more."

Bonnie Shero was traumatized when her sensitive, handicapped son became a villain in the local media.

"Seeing the headlines all that time, seeing his picture in the paper," his mother recalls. "Seeing him accused of doing all those terrible things, that was terrible. I couldn't even put the TV on."

When the trial started, the family was confident Bernard would be acquitted. The victim told a fantastic story, with a bunch of holes in it.

Billy Doe gave authorities three different locations for the alleged rape: in the classroom; in a parked car behind an apartment building and a dumpster; in a parked car on a well-known lover's lane in Pennypack Park.

Billy Doe initially claimed that Shero punched him in the face, wrapped a seatbelt around his neck, and ripped his shirt off. He also claimed that shortly after he was raped, he became violently ill and missed a lot of school. But Billy Doe's report card for that marking period showed zero absences.

"That's why we were so hopeful during the trial," his mother says. "Nothing made sense. We just thought there was no way that people could not see that."

The trial was grueling.

"It was so difficult for me to listen to the testimony against my son," his mother says. "To have him have to sit there and listen to all the lies that he's accused of doing."

Bernard's sister, Robin, works two EMT jobs at night on 12-hour shifts, for a total of 72 hours a week. Yet every day of the trial, she was there in the courtroom, after only a few hours of sleep.

Her brother cried a lot during the trial. Some jurors noticed.

When Billy Doe testified, "He seemed so rehearsed," Bonnie Shero says. "I think he is still a drug addict and he'll always be a drug addict. He is just a lying drug addict."

"He would never make eye contact with anybody," Robin says.

On the witness stand, the prosecutor asked Billy Doe about Shero's demeanor.

"Very inappropriate in how he interacted with students," Billy Doe testified. "He would always come up to students and put his arm around them, hold them close. When he would talk to them, he would almost whisper and would be whispering in their ear, always touchy-feely."

According to Billy Doe's testimony, Shero drove him to Pennypack Park. The boy was riding in the front seat. Shero parked the car and exposed himself in the front seat, before ordering the boy to get in the back seat. Billy Doe's testimony is that he got out of the front door, opened the back door of the car and obediently got in the back seat, where the rape took place.

According to Billy Doe's own cockamamie story, he's a double rape victim about to become a triple rape victim. The predator stalking him is a slow-moving partially blind man. Billy is a nimble, lightweight, 11-year-old sixth-grader. It's broad daylight in a popular park. Billy can run circles around Shero. Why doesn't he make a break for it?

That's what Bernard Shero's lawyer, Burton A. Rose, wanted to know on cross-examination:

Q. You made no attempt to flee?

A. No.

Q. You said that you had already been assaulted twice by Father Avery the previous year and you had been assaulted once by Father Engelhardt, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. This man, this grown adult has exposed himself in the front seat in front of you. You can see what the heck is about to happen. You are 11 years old. You already told the priest [Father Engelhardt] I will kill you if you come near me and you let this situation continue? You don't bolt right then and there?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. Because I was scared.

Rose attacked the other inconsistencies in Billy Doe's story:

Q. You told [archdiocese social worker] Louise Hagner on January 30, 2009 that the Defendant ripped your shirt. Do you remember telling her that?

A. No.

Q. Did he rip your shirt?

A. No ...

Q. You told Louise Hagner that after the assault happened, you had to go home on your own and throw the shirt in the sewer. Do you remember saying that?

A. Like I said before, I do not remember what I said to Louise Hagner.

Q. Did you throw a ripped shirt into the sewer?

A. No ... 

Q. You told Louise Hagner that Shero punched you in the face ... Did that happen?

A. No.

Q. You told Louise Hagner that when you were in the back seat, Shero took the seat belt and wrapped it around your neck. Mr. [Doe] did you tell her that?

A. Like I said, I do not remember my conversation with Louise Hagner.

Q. Did that happen?

A. No.

When the jury announced it had reached a partial verdict on nine of ten charges, the Shero family tried to comfort Bernard. "We just kept saying to him, it's alright. They're gonna see the truth, and you're gonna be OK."

Her son wasn't so sure. "I never win," he told his mother.

The judge sent the jury back to see if they could reach a verdict on the final charge.

The jury came back within the hour. Bernard Shero was right; it wasn't OK. The jury convicted Shero on five counts: rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault.

"My heart dropped," his mother remembers. "We sat in a pew and just cried and cried."

She's crying again at the diner. Bonnie Shero dabs her eyes with a tissue while her husband pats her arm. Bob and Robin Shero are crying, too.

When she can speak again, Robin says, "It was like somebody punched you in the stomach."

"And then," his mother says, "they took him away."

Bonnie Shero's last memory of her son that day was a conversation they had through a glass partition.

She was crying and telling her son she was sorry.

And her son said, "I told you Mom, I never win."

Robin Shero found it hard to keep herself composed in the courtroom, when the verdicts were read. She hopes she doesn't run into Billy Doe some night when she's out on an OD call.

"I'd like to call him a scumbag and punch him in the face," she says.

Bernard Shero spends his days in a 5-foot by 9-foot prison cell at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia. The cell is furnished with a couple of bunk beds, a commode, a chair and a table.

His cellmate for the past four months has been his co-defendant, Father Charles Engelhardt. Both men are in protective custody. Once a week, one of Father Engelhardt's priest friends shows up to say Mass and serve Communion.

Shero sports a buzz cut from the prison barber. Twice a week, he is handed a disposable razor, so he can shave. At 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Shero is 30 pounds lighter than he was four years ago, when his legal troubles began.

"He has his good days and bad days," Robin says.

"We try to be optimistic with him," his mother says. "We do everything we can. He is optimistic that he will be coming home on June 12th, and be granted a new trial."

His mother doesn't share his optimism.

"I do not have faith in the justice system anymore," she says.

And even if some miracle occurs on June 12th, or he wins an appeal, Bonnie Shero still sees a bleak future ahead for her son.

"Bernard's life is gone," she says. "He'll never be able to get his job back. He won't be a teacher any more. He won't be able to get a job anywhere. Nobody's gonna hire him."

Bernard Shero has spent every dollar he had on his legal defense. His family plans to sell off his last remaining possession, a 1996 Suburu, to raise money for his appeal.

"Bernard has lost everything and he'll never be able to gain it back," his mother says.

Meanwhile, Billy Doe is a free man looking forward to a big pay day once his civil suit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gets settled. A civil suit that, according to Billy Doe's sworn trial testimony, was filed by a lawyer that the D.A.'s office hooked him up with.

With Seth Williams as our district attorney, this is what passes for justice in Philadelphia. Bernard Shero  will probably spend the rest of his life in jail. And Billy Doe will probably be a multi-millionaire.


  1. This picture of billy doe, as he likes to be referred to, says it all about this lowlife accuser. Bernard Shero as well as Father Engelhardt never had a chance in this city to get a fair trial, add the wrong charges being read by the judge/court crier to start this fiasco to further confuse this jury and the result speaks volumes about this travesty of justice. Perhaps the judge will find the courage to see this malicious prosecution for what it was and set these men free. Realistically I doubt that will happen.

    1. If only, Anon at 3:13 June 8, we could judge you by what you look like. But we are blessed with not seeing you. Thanks for that.
      Billy's an addict he's also young. That's how millions of young people dress and look. Let us judge your book by your cover. Idiot!

    2. Billy's an addict he's also young.....

      He's also uneducated, a thief, a drug dealer, a burden on his family (financially/emotionally) and a recent addition to the AMP program (which he initially declined last year).

      How does a person decline participation in the AMP program and then chnage their mind 8 months later- could be the DA working their magic for their star witness? Or is it the family connection he used this time?

      Is that any excuse for the lies that have been told?

  2. Once again why would Billy Doe single out this individual from all others ? I do not believe the staff or anyone else at St. Jeromes would tell the students the history of their teachers.

    But it seems that Billy Doe out of all his teachers was able to pick out three individuals who had a questionable past.

    Louise Hagner, Maggie Marshall, Becker. They all had one job. I will end my comment now before it gets censored

    1. Did you read the story? His mother says he was an easy target. Open-minded people like yourself would believe any fairy tale the "victim" said.

  3. Well Dennis, your guess is as good as mine! I want you to think about this, his mother saved "pertinent" information for her upstanding citizen son. He was rummaging through drawers for stuff (drug money) and found a church paper, calendar, year book, whatever, , so conviently for the trial for her beloved good son. They did move, not sure of the year, but it is possible that "old sh*t" was hanging around and you beloved billy Doe was
    Looking through his old stuff and found the names. Please get it out of your head that this scumbag is innocent. People in the DA's office knew he was a lying sack of sh*t. Unfortunately, Seth Williams is looking to be mayor one day and will do anything to make him look good. The City of Philadelphia is an absolute joke!!!!!!!!

  4. So sad, crying for Bernard Shero and his family!

  5. Shero is a victim of bullying. What the principal saw in St Jerome about Shero has not been reported. No complaints from parents filed against Shero were ever proven to be true and he was the victim of children throwing stones at his windows while calling him names. He remained on the job until arrested by police.

    Disabled children often are victims of bullying. Shero was no exception. It is safe to assume Shero has assistance in passing his college courses such as paid notetaker or someone helped him. He had a hard time looking for a job as nobody wanted to hire him due to prevalence of able bodied people available for teaching jobs. Why he didnt re-orient himself to taking a Civil Service job in the Federal Government is surprising as he would have had a job for decades until retirement. Nobody would bother you in the Federal Government.

    Sad to say, Judge Ceisler will give him a couple of decades in prison where he will die there of natural causes.

    What is needed, Ralph is pro bond services of an disability rights attorney acting in concert with a pro bono attorney that Shero retains to file a strong appeal in both State and Federal courts to get Shero immediately released on bail or put in a prison structure where he will get medical, psychiatric care and be in a safe location pending final results of appeals. The sale of his 1996 car will only bring pennies on the dollar.

    Prosecutor Seth Williams has done the unthinkable in prosecuting three priests and a teacher and used a witness with a strong propensity to perjure himself again and again while on the witness stand.

  6. Also, we live in a society that values beauty over the plain looking. What is the difference if a macho James Caan type gives women in the office firm a sensuous backrub with his manly hands while a woman screams if a milquetoast touches her on the shoulder as if she has been sexually assaulted? This happens all the time and the milquetoast would be fired from the job right away while the macho James Caan type would simply just shrug and smile broadly while his willing girlfriends sweetly smile and chuckle.

    That is why Shero was convicted. He was easy to pick on and push over. Given all this, a responsible DA would have noticed his disability and questioned his ability to do all he had allegedly did with Billy Joe. We are not talking about a macho man with another man or boy but a totally disabled person unable to see where he was walking and would have had a hard time getting it up for an sexual encounter due to his total inexperience as no woman wanted to go out with him much less sleep with him. This would have raised red flags among DA's charged with protecting the public.

    Not this DA who chose to throw Shero to the wolves.

  7. Ralph, You deserve a enormous amount of credit for continuing to cover this tragic story and standing by these two innocent men who've had inept legal representation and been abandoned by everyone, save their families. Where's the Catholic League and Bill Donohue? Donohue boasted he'd blanket "the print and electronic media in Philadelphia and Harrisburg" and get the word about this legal and media scandal out to every parishioner in the archdiocese. But Donohue's shown himself to be all bluster and bark and no bite when it really matters. Where's the voice of the ACL, not to mention the archbishop who seems to be cowering in silence?
    Convicted by the perjury of a known drug addict and dealer, Engelhardt and Shero are the victims of a judicial, legal, and journalistic system broken beyond repair. Where's the Justice Department and FBI? The "defendants" are being sacrificed on the altar of the political ambitions of the judges presiding over their cases and the DA, who to prosecute this case has conspired with a drug dealer and intimidated the local media from covering the case.
    The DA attempted but failed to squash the NCR story and editorial, but must have brought irresistible pressure to bear on the Inquirer. The DA's office is scared to death that the truth comes out about its fraudulent "historic prosecution" that's based on perjured testimony. The Philadelphia judiciary, DA's office and media have lost their moral compass and any sense of their ethical responsibility. No profile in courage to be found here. For them, Engelhardt and Shero are pawns to be used to advance their political careers, while the real criminal is still on the streets.
    Ralph, keep covering this story. Don't let your voice fall silent. As Bonhoffer said, all that's needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. When and if justice is ever done in this case, it will be too late to repair the damage done to the real victims, Engelhardt and Shero, except to restore their good names in some measure, if that's even possible in the present climate and circumstances.

    1. "inept legal representation" this a joke?

    2. the justice system is the one that failed in this case. innocent until proven guilty and beyond a reasonable doubt were left out of this case by judge and jury.

    3. The Philadelphia Inquirer refused the advertisement/letter. Check the Catholic League's web page.

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

  9. My apologies. Would you be able to delete the Principal's name? I just read the rules at the bottom of the page. Thanks.

  10. A lot of holes in this story.

    Shero cannot make out faces. Shero cannot see a step in front of him. But is capable of driving a two ton vehicle ?

    Then the sister states since she is an EMT the nurse let her see her brothers chart that she states "There was nothing in his blood stream," she says, "there was nothing in his system to say he overdosed."

    Unless the nurse who I will surmise who was an RN and read and explained the lab results to her. NO Emergency Medical Technician in the state of Pennsylvania is trained to read and UNDERSTAND hospital lab results.

    Another blind road your going down.

    1. The only one going down a blind road is you, Dennis. You and your ilk refuse to acknowledge what Ralph has made abundantly clear by his Cracker Jack investigative reporting: Billy Doe is a liar and has destroyed the lives of several men and their families for a crime which never occurred. I, for one, am simply tired of reading your nay saying. Your wound of sexual abuse just blinds you to the fact that not everyone who claims to have been a victim is in fact a victim. Dennis, for the benefit of all who read Ralph's blog and accept his premise, please go elsewhere and stop wasting our time with your blather.

    2. Dennis -NO Emergency Medical Technician in the state of Pennsylvania is trained to read and UNDERSTAND hospital lab results?

      I believe it could be called continuing education. How do you know that someone would not be capable of reading the lab reports unless you were there in the room at that time? Which i am going to assume you were not. any more holes in the story you would like to point out.

    3. Here's what Dennis does with every story. He blindly believes the victims 100 percent. Whatever evidence to the contrary that comes out, he looks for something he can twist to cast doubt on what anybody else can see plainly, namely that Billy made the whole thing up.

    4. Ralph - Maybe Dennis would like you to write an article about him. Shed some light on his background and relevance to these cases.

    5. He has no relevance.

    6. I am now laughing as I picture anonymous with his foot in his mouth. Remember Ralph reported as an EMT she was shown the chart. She or he did not mention any further training.

      She as a EMT interpreted lab results to Ralph what only SHE feels they revealed. Now I did mention that an RN could possibly read those results but only a MD can make the final diagnosis of what those lab results reveal. There are many factors that come into play.

      Otherwise, she as an EMT with no other certification or training in short is pretending to practice medicine without a license since she has made her own findings known to the public. Something that the Pennsylvania Department of Health or her employer would not take lightly.

      Please do not talk about this issue that you clearly do not know anything about. It only shows how uneducated you are regarding the subject.

    7. is there anything you do not have advanced knowledge in or are you a master of all subjects?

      if i told you the dog ate my homework you would believe that too.....where is she pretending to practice medicine? all that was said was she looked at the charts and gave an opinion. what would the dept. of health have to do with that? it's an opinion and only that.

      If anyone should be looked at by the Dept. of Health it is BD's mother. might want to look at any discrepancies at her places of employment with the past drug history of one of her sons.

    8. Dennis, just an FYI. The results of the lab test are either positive or negatIve. I think his sister can understand the difference between positive or negative as an EMT.

    9. emt, pharmacy traning i believe and she know what she is taking about and knows what she is looking at

    10. Once again you are showing how uneducated you are regarding the subject. The results will come back with a numeric number of how much of the drug has entered the blood stream. Meaning how much was processed through a patients liver.

      With the patients weight and size and how much of the drug the person took the MD will then plan treatment.

      She as an EMT with no higher education in no way would know what the danger levels would be for a particular drug and no way know if any drug with the sheet of paper in front of her know if Shero had sleeping pills in his system or not.

    11. You did not want to leave this particular subject alone.

      I will take a strong guess that Bernard Shero's sister is an EMT who works for a private ambulance company located here in the city or in Bucks County. Whose main job is taking patients from point A to point B. I would also guess since she knew this nurse in a E.R. she also volunteers her time at the local firehouse or county ambulance where she does obtain actual EMS experience.

      Now going by Ralph's own reporting he states she works 72hrs a week. Now is that 12 hr shifts at the private ambulance company and 12hrs a shift sitting at home waiting for a beeper to go off, he did not elaborate. Its not important. This blog is not about her. But no ems provider would allow anyone to work 72 straight hours in a week. They become a danger to themselves, to people around them, and to the people they want to help.

      Moving on. I'm not going to fast for you guys am I ? You now have a patient enter an E.R., now what is different about this patient is he also a suspect in a child abuse case who is in custody who has also been accused also of attempting to take his own life. This being known the patient's chart can now be considered as evidence.

      You then have a sister who is an EMT enter the picture not having any direct care for the patient request to see her brother's chart who is the suspected child abuser.

      Put One and one together folks that evidence is now questionable. If the defense wanted to use those lab results or anything else in that chart to defend their client do you not think the educated individuals at the DA's office if they knew the sister of the suspected abuser handled the chart would allow that to happen.

      I believe Shero's sister was very concerned about her brother. But she was nothing more than any other concerned relative and should have never been shown his chart, unless she was involved in treating him as a patient and not her brother and I truly believe that is not the case here. She was curious, but her curiosity could have damaged a defense for her brother if the chart wanted to be called into evidence. She also could have damaged any possible truth that could of come from the chart of her brother not trying to overdose.

      THIS is the real world folks. Things happen out there far away from this blog, in the comfort of your home away from your keyboard. I seen and have been through experiences that would make you and Ralph Cipriano's head spin.

      I will leave all of you a day to reflect what you have seen and heard about this case. Say what you would like to say but unless you have lived in my shoes or any other victims shoes please close your keyboards and walk away, and this includes you Ralph.

    12. Ralph - please appease dennis and write a story on life and experiences. He "seen" it all. no one else "seen" what he has. Could start with his alleged abuse story and details that have never been explained to anyone. that alone could make head spins.....

    13. 1. If a family member asks what lab values are, you may tell them if the patient gives their consent.
      2. If the patient's family member is medical, they will often allow them to see the results in the computer or physical chart. If they are not medical, they will explain the results.
      3. Barbiturates, alcohol, amphetamines, etc are easy to read. They are often listed as positive or negative. If they are positive, there is an amount listed. Any experienced EMT would be fully capable of interpreting these basic labs.
      4. The media encourages us to stand up against bullying, but here we have an example and only one reporter brave enough to report it.
      5. My prayers are with Mr. Shero and his family.

  11. Ralph, You deserve a enormous amount of credit for continuing to cover this tragic story and standing by these two innocent men who've had inept legal representation and been abandoned by everyone, save their families.

    "inept legal representation".....where are the facts that support this claim?

    Michael McGovern and Burton Rose.......seasoned, well-qualified, experienced defense attorneys.....INEPT??

  12. A lot of cases are like Shero's. Evidence may not be there to convict and someone like that character who is nicknamed "the Monsignor" steps up to chat up the suspect and gets him to divulge "evidence" that can be twisted in his report to the police. Thus, the DA has an easy conviction on the horizon and gets the suspect to plead guilty to a prison term of decades instead of life in prison without parole. Even luckier would be the DA if he could browbeat a suspect into admitting in a plea bargain to a capital offense in exchange for a life term in prison in the second degree instead of a trial and a guilty verdict of life in prison in the first degree.

    Why? Someone has to be found to pay for the heinous crime. Even fantasy shows on TV show all suspects as pervs who end up confessiong to or admitting to the crime at the 54th minute of the show.

    Do we care? No as this is not our problem but the perv's problem. We praise the DA and police for doing their job as we pay them to do it for us.

  13. "There was nothing in his blood stream," This is the statement she made to Ralph. This is more than an opinion. This is a statement she wanted Ralph to believe and readers like you.

    Now to break your bubble even further this was test results that were able to be viewed by a family member of a suspected child abuser in custody. Knowing what the potential positive test results could mean in a criminal case.

    You must have small feet, you just stuck the other one in.

    Like I said before let it go. Because if you wish to push further I will be right here waiting, and nothing positive will come from it.

    1. i would suggest that you start realizing that not everyone lives in an isolated world like yourself. yes, she looked at the charts and let me throw this one at you. Could a conversation not have been had between nurse, dr. and family at the time to discuss the results and situation. suspected child abuser has nothing to do with this. it would only be the well being of the patient and not what effect it could have on the criminal case.

      Did the DA use the test results in court? No, because there may or may not have been traces of whatever in his system. you see arrest, attempted suicide and determine he must have done it. blind to the facts of the case once again.

      and then there is your perfect billy doe. how many arrests are on his record and how many times has he gotten off without so much as a fine - every time as the FOP is all around him.

    2. You behave like an ass. There is nothing more to say to you.
      To the readers of this blog who accept Ralph's conclusion that no crime ever occurred, please stop engaging Dennis who has aptly demonstrated that he is incapable of rational thought. In fact, I think that we should all ask Ralph to ban Dennis permanently from this forum.

    3. I so wish that would happen-it is a waste of time to have him post here. He is really an agitator-all one wants to do is politely insult him. Please consider getting rid of him somehow!

    4. Do I continue to make you think ? Remember Ralph asked me to return. If you or anyone else does not like what I have to say scan over the names of the comments and if you see my name don't read, don't comment and move onto the next one.

      Otherwise, I am really tired of hearing all of you belly aching. You keep saying you have nothing more to say to me. BUT YOU KEEP ADDRESSING ME !

      Make up your mind.

  14. WOW, I sure hope supervisors of Lower Bucks Hospital read this blog.

    I wonder if they are aware that their nurses are passing on possible evidence being obtained in an
    prosecution case regarding a possible child abuser who is in CUSTODY onto the family members of the possible child abuser and who has NO direct care for the patient and most likely does not have permission from the patient himself.

    To be continued.......

  15. Ralph - Did you get any insight from the Shero or Engelhardt families on their decisions to not take the stand? -B.L.

  16. I have no idea, but maybe Anonymous (June 9@ 5:26 pm)thought the suspects had "inept legal representation" because they might have been advised by their lawyers not to take the stand and tell their side of the story? I always wondered why those 2 suspects chose not to do so? Maybe if they had, they would have been found innocent. Who knows?

    1. From reading Ralph's articles for the past 5 months and all that went on during the trial, I am sure that is the reason they didn't take the stand. Billy got caught lying on the stand, his own mom and dad contradicted themselves on the stand. These reasons in itself can tell you why they didn't take the stand. If the jurors were paying attention and not sleeping, they may have realized all of this. Also, I find it very interesting that jurors have not spoke. After the abortion doctor was found guilty, they jurors were there waiting to speak. Something is very fishy there. I think we can thank our corrupt DA for whatever they were told. Anything more on the DA referring a civil lawyer for BD?

    2. If you believe the plaintiff, you are bound to find the defendents guilty. If this an accurate paraphrase of Judge Ceisler's instructions to the jurors, that explains the dynamic of convictions. No fair trial was possible in Philadelphia.

  17. The question anonymous posed above: Why didn't Engelhart and Shero take the stand in their defense has been nagging me for a long time...Ralph any insight?

    1. I haven't asked the families, but will. My sense from the lawyers and being in the courtroom was like the proverbial football team with a big fourth quarter lead, they thought they had the case won and didn't want to blow it by taking any unnecessary risks. In their defense, myself and everybody in the press corps that I talked to did think both defendants would be found not guilty.

    2. Thank you, Ralph, for replying. That is what I thought, but, thanks for corroborating what I was thinking!

  18. Yes Ralph

    Why did the defense not want their 100% innocent client as believed here by a majority of the readers take the stand to shout and proclaim their innocense against such a liar as Billy Doe as you and those call him.

    What made them fear that cross examination.

    I put my trust in you to get an answer. You can ask that attorney who stated to you something about these unnamed DA's who felt Billy was lying, or you could ask that unnamed alternate juror you did the interview with why she thinks Engelhardt and Shero did not take the stand.

    I know you can ask our resident experts such as anonymous one, two and three or how many there are. You can ask James, Josie Bailey, justone1618, chippy111what ever happened to that guy ?

    You have a large pool of experts in not only our justice system, but in the way an abuse victim should behave so you should have no problems in finding that answer.

    Maybe I should hang out my gone fishing sign and transfer my phone calls and emails to the experts like you and your friends ?

  19. Breaking news - Pedophile Ambassador Protected By State Dept in Scandalous Cover-Up:

    So let me get this right. While innocent men are behind bars because of the lies of a drug addict and the corruption of the Philthidelphia justice system and law enforcement, the State Dept not only protects, but covers up child abusers?

    When priests are being removed from ministry for “boundary violations,” (like inappropriate words) and bishops are being pressured to step down because they didn’t sufficiently supervise a former groping priest, the State Department higher-ups go unpunished for refusing to contact the authorities about a suspected child rapist, and then engaging in a cover-up?

  20. So sad, well, we'll see what happens tomorrow, and Ralph will report on it, and for that we will be grateful, because no one else will. And that includes the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Associated Press.

    Ralph, looking forward to your report tomorrow, and, as always, thank you for your introspective, courageous and old fashioned style reporting and investigating! You are one of a kind, these days!

  21. Wow, just read that article justone1618 spoke of. Terrifying. But, honestly, what makes that any different than the officials of the AOP, as well as the Vatican, etc. covering up pedophiles for many, many years? Both are too horrible to contemplate, which brings me to the question: how many pedophiles ARE there in this world? Sickening thought, isn't it?

  22. Anonymous posted the following on June 9, 2013 at 5:26 PM:

    "....Ralph, You deserve a enormous amount of credit for continuing to cover this tragic story and standing by these two innocent men who've had inept legal representation and been abandoned by everyone, save their families...."

    "inept legal representation".....where are the facts that support this claim?

    Michael McGovern and Burton Rose.......seasoned, well-qualified, experienced defense attorneys.....INEPT??

  23. What time will the sentencing take place today?

  24. Shero receives the gift of mercy from the judge, and then mouths off. Puts him in a whole new light. I was even starting to feel sorry for him.

  25. Well the sentences are in. A very sad day for all involved, the innocent and the guilty.
    For those who feel an injustice has occurred,there is the appellate system.
    But it seems to me the system yet untouched in all this is the training and selection of Catholic priests. That system can only be placed on trial by it's followers. the leaders are all wrong. Let's get some women in there. Not appointed women by the old guard but the women attacked by said males.

    1. Jim,

      You and I both know no changes will be made because the catholic church still has not admitted to any wrong doing. You and I have heard, read and experienced the blame on which the church would like to lay fault.

      Once the church AND its parishioners face what is truly wrong, the catholic church will continue to diminish and they will have no one to blame but themselves.

  26. Yes, sad day but Judge Ceisler has to do what she is required to do - impose sentence as it was the jury that decided both men are guilty in spite of the evidence staring in their faces. Even if she wanted to vacate the verdict, she would be accused of pandering to priest abusers. Nevertheless, she gave both priests sentences taht will still give them a glimmer of hope as they won't be there 35 years in prison.

    Appellate court. Depends on which judge gets the case. Hopefully we will get a good judge to review all the evidence and to render the appropriate verdict as the easiest thing for a judge to do is to simply deny the appeal. My advice to the lawyers is to talk to Lynn's legal team and get their suggestions on crafting a good appeal that will catch the attention of a judge.

    Bottom line - both will serve at least two years before sprung free from jail on appellate issues. Yet, media will go to other issues and not give them much attention. How do you rehabilitate your reputation that was besmirched by false allegations uttered by a herion user with many issues that his own lawyer brother took a quick vacation to avoid getting tabbled to give testimony at the trial? The DA will admit to no wrongdoing and be nowhere to be found except to "run" for Mayor.

    And how do you compensate both men in hard currency dollars when Billy Doe will live the good life in Florida once retiring from the lowly landscaper job his uncle gave him? Who will pay the two innocent men for spending time in prison on unjustified charges?

    1. Ooh, let's see: "a glimmer of hope." Charles Englehardt at 66. You can add. Wow.

  27. I hear what you are saying, Jim Robertson. It seems that the Church needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Careful screening, selection and training would be great, but can even a trained Psychologist or Psychiatrist in this field pick out a Pedophile who has no prior history or known record? Just curious. Thanks

    1. I don't know.
      I wish I did but I think the Church's system of attempting to remove peoples sexuality from them at such an early age (or any age) wrecked havoc with the men who were sentenced today and then of course with their victims.
      All that must change. But I think the hierarchy will only attack gay priests weather they did anything wrong or not. Scapegoating is a theme set in motion by Christ's so called sacrifice and the Church loves sacrifice for anyone else but themselves..

    2. As an atheist who see's little to no value in religion, If the Church disappeared, I don't think I'd care.
      It won't though and if people want it they can have it. But let it stay out of my life. They've taken enough from me and my family.

  28. ........McCormick your next. If you are innocent you have nothing to fear.

    ........Brennan, I can be wrong but I think you have something to worry about.

  29. Shame on any of you passing judgement.....I hope none of you ever have to experience a loved family member fight an addiction. And if you unfortunately do, I hope you can pull them through it & not have to face ugly name calling & criticism. I also hope that not one of your children are ever threatened or coerced into doing unspeakable, unimaginable things that they then bury deep inside of themselves for years, acting out in ways that are foreign to your families, committing crimes, suicide attempts, & years of heartache.Every single person that knows or loves ANY of these men involved in this case has been affected by this & hurt. I would pray for those of you that could fight your way back from a heroin addiction, bouts with the law, dark & hurtful secrets in your closets that were shared in the public spotlight for years, pick yourselves back up & relocate yourselves away from everything that's ever been familiar to you to rebuild yourself a fresh, new life as a productive member of society (or as some might call, a lowly landscaper job), hold your head high & be grateful that you didn't succeed at that suicide attempt, that your family didn't give up on you, that you could go through hell & back & not have to lower yourself to name calling, derogatory remarks, & give yourself a public forum to use, such as this one, just to feel alive!

    1. Is this mrs. or mr. doe. thought you two and the entire bam family was fake as they sat in the courtroom like statues.

      Most likely figuring out how hey are going to spend the money. We all know where Billy's will go to.....

    2. Again with the snide remarks ...No, I am not Mr or Mrs Doe....nor a family member..... just a regular person who believes in God & our justice system & have been following this case & unfortunately, many others that tarnish the church & the very beliefs I grew up on. I'm not going to placate on every comment that's made on here but in response to your stab at Mr Doe's family in the courtroom....I must say they showed remarkable composure considering the many outbursts, the intentional coughing, & the vulgar language the defendants families showed! I thought they showed compassion for both sides ...& class. And, as a parent, no amount of money in the world would ever compensate for such an act of betrayal to have happened to your child.

    3. You said it. Just following and blind to the facts of the case

  30. Anon7:12- I am not sure who you were looking at, Doe's family were sitting there giggling and holding conversations, walking out throughout. I guess that was doe's fiancé turning around every which way glaring at everyone. As for coughing, if you so clearly were looking around and taking notes on everyone in the courtroom, it was pretty evident that there was a few people who were obviously sick. I guess you were too busy giggling away.

  31. (Anonymous- The nice one.)

    Take Care & God Bless!!!!

  32. Bravo, Anonymous (6/12 @ 6:48pm). Well said. Unfortunately, I don't think people even care to hear about the other side of the coin. Thanks for your effort!

  33. If I knew who anonymous 7:12 is we would meet. I would teach you to learn some respect regarding anonymous 6:48 statement. However since you have been a coward from the very beginning of this blog you will continue to hide behind a keyboard.

    I don't have to be nice, and I will teach the manners that your parents or your catholic church has failed to teach you.

    Grow up and be a man, or would you rather prey on innocent children as your convicted priest and teacher have done.

    You take this statement anyway you want !!!!

    1. Dennis - where would you like to meet? name a time and place.

      if you prefer to be contacted offline to arrange this meeting i can certainly accommodate that as well.

    2. still waiting on a response

    3. Typical Dennis. in hiding when he feels he cannot win the discussion.

      I would be more then happy to meet with you along with your cheering team when you are ready.


  34. JUne 9 2013 5:26 pm, you say "The Philadelphia judiciary, DA's office and media have lost their moral compass and any sense of their ethical responsibility. No profile in courage to be found here. For them, Engelhardt and Shero are pawns to be used to advance their political careers, while the real criminal is still on the streets".

    Surey you mean, the real criminals are in the judiciary, the prosecutor's office, and the media.

    Richard Mullins


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