Friday, June 14, 2013

How Two Innocent Men Wound Up In Jail

By Ralph Cipriano
The D.A.'s Star Witmess

Judge Ellen Ceisler just sent two innocent men to jail.

Even people inside the district attorney's office know that Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero are innocent.

It should have never gotten this far. Billy Doe told an unbelievable story about a former altar boy being passed around like a pinata among three rapists. It's an x-rated fractured fairy tale that makes no sense in any of its various versions. Billy Doe should have been laughed out of the D.A.'s office.

Instead, when Billy told his improbable tale, the D.A. and a couple of gullible prosecutors bought it. Whether they were blinded by misguided empathy, political ambition, or hatred of the church, it doesn't really matter. It was as if they all got high on whatever Billy was peddling.

It was a story with no corroborating witnesses or evidence, just the tales of a drug-addled goofball who had been in and out of 23 drug rehabs in the past 10 years and had once bragged to a drug counselor that he was a natural salesman. In court he proved his point; perhaps he'll switch from selling drugs to selling used cars.

The end result is that two innocent men are sitting in jail today. When a travesty of this magnitude occurs, there's always plenty of blame to go around.

In today's post-mortem, we're going to try not to miss anybody.


There is circumstantial evidence that indicates the regime under former District Attorney Lynne Abraham took a look at Billy Doe's story, realized it was nonsense, and decided that the Billy Doe file should be thrown in the trash can where it belonged. But it never happened, and we don't know why.

There is a puzzling year-long gap in the official record of the case between Jan. 30, 2009, the day Billy phoned in his report of abuse to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Jan. 28, 2010, when Detective Drew Snyder drove out to Graterford prison to yank Billy out of jail, and bring him down to the district attorney's office for questioning.

How can this gap be explained? The people who know this back story continue to remain silent. That's how this kind of travesty can happen. And how two innocent men can wind up in jail.

Maybe somebody should put them all under oath, and ask what happened.


Seth Williams is responsible for this travesty of justice. We have been trying to get some answers from him, but so far he's been stonewalling. Three key questions remain unanswered.

As chronicled on this blog, the district attorney's self-described "historic" prosecution of the church was flawed from day one. On Jan. 28, 2010, Detective Drew Snyder drove Billy Doe to the D.A.'s office for questioning. Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen was on hand, eager to begin her work.

Billy Doe's parents, a Philadelphia police sergeant and a nurse, were allowed to sit in on that interview. The usual practice of the district attorney's office, and the Philadelphia police department, would have been to interview an adult complainant separately. Who knew, on day one of the investigation, if one of the parents may have been abusing the boy? People I trust in law enforcement say interviewing the victim in the presence of his parents, in violation of the usual procedures, is indefensible.

For months, the district attorney has refused to discuss this breach of procedure. It can't be explained. That's why the D.A. remains silent. He hopes that people will stop asking the question.

The "investigation" of the church was also a travesty. The suspects were rounded up, and the facts of a kangaroo court known as the grand jury were rewritten to fit an official story line. An intellectually dishonest and error-filled grand jury report was then trumpeted as gospel by the press.

That grand jury report still sits online at the D.A.'s website, riddled with more than 20 factual errors. It's still the only official version of what happened.

On Wednesday, when Engelhardt and Shero were sentenced, I asked a smiling Assistant District Attorney Manos how she could explain away all those errors in that grand jury report. Didn't the D.A. have a responsibility to tell the truth? Manos kept smiling and walking and saying nothing. Meanwhile, Tasha Jamerson, the D.A.s spokesperson, kept telling me my time was up.

The D.A. can't explain all those mistakes in the grand jury report. That's why he hopes it all goes away.

Another question remains: how could one district attorney, Lynne Abraham, and the 2005 grand jury look at the state's child endangerment law, and put in writing that Msgr. William Lynn, or any Catholic official at the archdiocese, could not be prosecuted for child endangerment because the law didn't apply to them.

And how could another district attorney, Seth Williams, and that 2011 grand jury, look at that exact same child endangerment law and decide that Fathers Lynn, Avery, Brennan and Engelhardt, and former teacher Bernard Shero, could be prosecuted?

I posed that question in National Catholic Reporter a few weeks ago. The district attorney refused to answer. What's amusing is that both contrary opinions from the D.A.'s office probably emanated from the same appeals lawyers adept at legal gymnastics.

The D.A. needs to explain how this flip-flop occurred and why.


The early judicial proceedings in the investigation of the church were shrouded in secrecy. The grand jury did their work behind closed doors. Judges issued a series of gag orders trampling on the rights of the defendants and their lawyers to freedom of speech. The press corps employed a discriminatory self-censorship policy that allowed the accused to be hung out to dry and have their character assassinated on a daily basis, while the alleged "victims" were granted a cloak of anonymity, all in the name of fairness.

It's a misguided policy that needs to be re-examined.

The press didn't protest one gag order after another. The result was only one official version of the "historic" prosecution of the church, namely that dishonest grand jury report riddled with errors.

We in the press didn't protest when the judge in this last abuse case, Ellen Ceisler, ramped up the secrecy by sealing all pre-trial motions and closing all pre-trial hearings. That's how people get railroaded. It usually takes place under the cover of darkness.


 As rightfully exposed by the 2005 grand jury report, the Catholic Church in this town has blood on its hands. The secret archive files of the archdiocese contained so many revolting deeds covered up by two corrupt archbishops, that people rightfully wanted to see some men in collars wind up in jail.

Sadly, they got the wrong guys.

During jury deliberations in the Lynn trial, one TV reporter amused the press corps by loudly proposing that a search party with shovels be sent down to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery to dig up the body of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, and drag His Eminence to court, so he could finally be brought to justice.

As one detective told the mother of Bernie Shero the day he was arrested, I didn't want to arrest your son, I wanted to arrest Cardinal Bevilacqua.

There are some conspiracy theorists who insist that District Attorney Seth Williams must have struck some kind of a deal with church leaders. If they handed over Msgr. Lynn, the prosecution of the archdiocese would cease.

It's an interesting theory that makes some sense. At one point, all the air did go out of the tires of the prosecutorial bandwagon, with no explanation. If men in collars were going to be prosecuted for boundary violations, no bishop was safe. They were all at risk.

Then, the witch hunt suddenly ended. Maybe there was a deal. Sadly, we may never find out.


It's time to deal with the victim's lobby. You know, the folks from SNAP, the guys and gals who show up at every abuse trial with ribbons pinned on their chests. The people who comment so often on this website.

I am actually fond of some of them. They include men and women who have suffered real abuse, or have loved ones who have suffered. Nothing any of us can say or do can make it right. When they tell their stories, who cannot be moved?

However, every "victim" who tells a tale of abuse is not necessarily sainted the minute he opens his mouth. Every new abuse trial has become a forum for victims to relive their ordeals, and root against the men in collars, like a roving lynch mob, so they can extract some misguided measure of revenge from somebody they don't know.

It's a cult of victimization, a mob mentality that's currently sanctioned in this country, and certainly alive and well in Philadelphia. It's the reason the press won't print the names of sex abuse "victims" while they systematically destroy the reputations of the accused. It's a new sacred cow that will only produce more Billy Does.

It's why innocent men wind up in jail.

Father James J. Greenfield, a man who has settled 39 complaints of sex abuse, talked about that sacred cow  in court Wednesday. Greenfield is the head of the regional province of the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales, of which Father Engelhardt is a member.

Father Greenfield talked in court about how, in a country where we just elected an African-American president, a new prejudice has been born, against every man wearing a priestly collar. The presumption with priests is, guilty until proven innocent. Judge Ceisler, of course, instantly shut Greenfield down. She didn't want anybody talking truth on a day when she was dispensing justice.

So, to all you victims out there, you've won. The abusers will never again get away with it the way they used to, and neither will their employers. But the pendulum has swung so far the other way that now they're putting innocent men in jail when a junkie criminal poses as a victim.

Enough already.


There was an ugly edge to this trial. Prosecutors know how to destroy ordinary citizens who didn't go to law school. They know how to win arguments. They know how to make the rest of us look stupid.

In this case, the lead prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti, used those tactics against a hapless archdiocese social worker, and a bunch of veteran Catholic elementary school teachers who had no reason to lie. A trained legal pugilist took turns beating up a bunch of middle-aged women. It was sickening to watch.

The prosecutors played a brutal game here. They know how to shred a witness. When the evidence is lacking, they know how to invent a story-line in a closing argument, like a grooming campaign by the defendants,  out of thin air. Prosecutors also know how, when you don't have the facts, you put a picture up there of a helpless 10-year-old altar boy, and then appeal to raw emotion.

In this case, those tactics were misplaced. And a prosecutor played games with people's lives.

The lead prosecutor in this case, and the district attorney both expected to lose. It was a throwaway, so why not go for broke, push the edge and see what happens?

What happened, to everyone's shock, was that the jury bought it. Lives were destroyed, and innocent families devastated. Prosecutors were allowed to beat people up under the watchful eye of a judge more concerned about breaking for lunch at the right time, and sending the jury home at a reasonable hour, rather than justice.



The jury in this case was simply watching a different trial than the one I saw.

As a group they did not impress. Many times, members of that panel seemed to be dozing or nodding off. The one time they did pay attention though was when Billy Doe took the stand. Grown men wiped away tears.

I, however, had dry eyes; I did not believe Billy Doe. I felt the same way when I heard him at the Lynn trial. At that time, I had no reason to believe he was a stone-cold liar.

At the Lynn trial, I heard real victims of abuse tell their stories. A doctor, a detective, and a nun stand out in my mind.

As you listened to their stories, you felt the pain. When Billy Doe spoke, you felt nothing, and what you saw was a childish, third-rate con man trying to pull off a hustle.

At the Lynn trial, after Billy Doe left the stand, one of Billy's civil lawyers asked me what I thought of his boy.

You really want to know, I said. I don't believe a f--ing word he just said.

It was just a gut feeling from a guy whose heard stories all his life, and tried to figure out which ones were B.S.

But whether you believed Billy Doe was telling the truth or not, you could not convict Engelhardt or Shero based solely on Billy Doe's story. It was a story that defied logic and common sense. There were far too many factual discrepancies in the various versions Billy Doe told to send anybody to jail.

There was no evidence or witnesses that supported any of Billy's stories. In fact, all of the evidence gathered by the district attorney's own detectives that I'm aware of contradicted Billy and his stories. The defense case was based almost entirely on the findings of the district attorney's own detectives.

The jury, however, bought it.

To prove I didn't lose my mind, I will reprise the comments of an alternate juror, a young woman in her 30s, who saw exactly what I saw. What other reporters saw. She also had some unique insight.

"I was like, 'Are you serious?' I couldn't believe it," the alternate juror told me when she heard the verdict. "I thought for sure they were going to vote not guilty because there was absolutely no proof that these men had done that." To the alternate juror, the guilty verdict was "incredible, "insane," and a "tragic miscarriage of justice."

The alternate juror felt sympathy for Billy.

"He's a terribly troubled young man," she said. But, she added, "Every answer seemed so convenient and so processed to me. It just didn’t feel genuine. It didn't feel like a young man trying to get right. It felt like a young kid trying to get out of trouble."

"I have kids lying to me every day," said the woman, who teaches elementary school. "I felt like I was watching somebody trying to get out of trouble."

He did get himself out of trouble. When the D.A. busted Billy out of Graterford, he was a junkie criminal in the slammer for a parole violation. After he became the district attorney's star witness, Billy Doe got busted twice for drug possession, including one bust where he was caught with 56 bags of heroin.

But thanks to a smart criminal lawyer, the 56 bags of heroin were thrown out of court as evidence. And that last drug bust, after 9 continuances in 18 months, disappeared because the D.A. let Billy into an accelerated misdemeanor program that he ordinarily would not be entitled to.

Today, Billy Doe is a free man, off probation, and that last drug bust is about to be expunged from his record.

Why did the jury in the Engelhardt-Shero case buy Billy's story, without any evidence to support it? Thanks to the media and that 2011 grand jury report, it was an existing story line that everybody knew: innocent victims; predator priests. So the jury bought into the prevailing wisdom. Who needs evidence? Guilty as charged.

The one juror that I did talk to offered a frightening look into the jury's mindset.

"When you're on drugs, a drug addict will tell you a lot of stories," the juror told me. So she gave Billy Doe a pass when his story changed every time he told it. Because he was a consistent drug addict.

When the Lynn jury announced its verdict in 2012, several jurors gave interviews. The jury foreman went on TV the next morning to field questions from the media.

This jury, however, was did not want to talk to the media. "Not this group," the juror told me with a smile. "They were flying out of here"

Their silence was unusual. I stopped by the home of the jury foreman last weekend to see if she could shed any light on what went down in that jury room. The jury foreman came to the door scowling. She muttered that I had no business being on her property. Then, looking away, she closed the door. I left wondering what her problem was.

You were the foreman on a high-profile Philadelphia jury trial. Why can't you talk about it?


Here's the scouting report on Billy Doe. Whenever he is caught in a lie, he has a habit of lowering his head, and he starts to mumble before he shuts down completely. That's the behavior Michael J. McGovern, Father Engelhardt's lawyer, saw on the witness stand on Jan. 16th when McGovern confronted Billy Doe about his claim to have been a member of the bell choir maintenance crew back when he was a fifth grader at St. Jerome's.

Billy Doe claimed that Father Avery had accosted him in church because Billy was the lone member of the bell choir maintenance crew who was putting the away the bells after a concert. In this excerpt, we see Billy on the ropes before he is saved at the bell by a timely objection from the prosecutor:

Q. I thought your testimony was that he [Avery] came up to you when no one else was around?

A. Yeah. He pulled me over to the side. There were still people in there but no one around in earshot distance.

Q. Mr. [Doe], would it surprise you that there were no fifth grade members of the bell maintenance crew, none, zero? There never was. Would that surprise you?

A. A little bit.

Q. Would it surprise you there was never a sixth grade member of the bell maintenance crew?

A. Kind of.

Q. Would it surprise you there were no seventh grade members of the bell maintenance crew?

A. Somewhat.

Q. You know, Mr. [Doe], don't you, that your testimony is completely false because there were only eighth grade boys who were members of the bell maintenance crew?

A. No, my testimony isn't false.

Q. Your version of what happened with that bell choir practice could not possibly have happened. Do you understand that?

A. How couldn't it have ...

Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti: Objection, argumentative.

Judge Ceisler: Objection sustained. It is argumentative.

McGovern cut short his cross-examination that day, possibly because he didn't feel the jury was with him. Prosecutor Cipolletti was happy the cross from both defense lawyers only lasted two hours. "There was just so much more," he said with a big smile.

When your opponent is that happy, you just made a mistake. McGovern and Shero's lawyer, Burton A. Rose, should have kept on grilling the witness. That cross examination should have gone on for days until the defense lawyers got what they needed. Who cares whether the jury was with them or not? The jury would have had to notice multiple shutdowns, if Billy was caught in more lies.

Hindsight being 20-20, the defense should also have fired off every weapon they had in their arsenal that went unused.

The meticulous monthly calendars kept by Billy's mother that didn't show any early Masses the entire fifth-grade year when Billy claimed he was raped by Father Engelhardt after an early morning Mass at St. Jerome's. The church register of funerals that showed Father Avery didn't say a funeral Mass at St. Jerome's during Billy's entire fifth grade year, when Billy claimed Father Avery assaulted him after a funeral Mass. The police statement Billy's older brother gave that contradicted Billy's testimony.

The defense also should have called to the stand the drug counselor who told police that victims of abuse don't usually open up the way Billy Doe did, and that the word "sessions" was drug rehab lingo. It was not, as Billy had claimed, a code word used by priests when they're talking about raping an altar boy.


Ok, we're trying to leave no stone unturned here. After the trial, there was plenty of criticism that the defense lawyers made a mistake by not putting the defendants up on the witness stand to tell the jury they didn't do it.

From what I saw on sentencing day, those defense lawyers made the right call. Both defendants were not-ready-for-prime-time players.

Father Engelhardt is a 66-year-old priest who took a vow of poverty. He lives in a different world than the rest of us. With his life on the line, Father Engelhardt spoke in the quiet, somber tones of a former history teacher and priest of more than 40 years. He talked about his career and his faith. Some of it was moving. It was a few points of light, when what was needed was a lighting bolt from above. But you can't be anybody but who you are.

Bernard Shero made the mistake of trying to debate the prosecutor. Wow, did that not go over. The judge slapped him down. "I'm frustrated," the 50-year-old Shero told the judge. In his defense, sending a guy to jail for a crime that never happened will probably do that to you.

Shero wound up telling the judge about his post-teaching career as an Avon salesman. And about a note he got from a couple of former customers who believe he's innocent.

Very underwhelming.


The trial went bad during the first few moments for the defendants when the court crier had them stand while she read an extra offense for each man that they weren't charged with.

The judge's response: hey, no big deal, we'll get it right eventually. Let's keep it moving.

Throughout the trial, the judge seemed more preoccupied with staying on schedule, rather than worrying about whether a couple of defendants who had already been tarred and feathered by the media and a dishonest grand jury report were getting railroaded in her courtroom. She refused to delay the trial to allow the defense to bring Billy's older brother in to testify. The jurors wanted to hear from the older brother, according to a note they sent to the judge.

The judge was at the trial I watched. She had to see all that reasonable doubt. It would have been a courageous call for this judge to say sorry folks, this conviction is just not supported by the evidence.

What was needed was the wisdom of Solomon, not the prevailing wisdom.

Instead, this judge said the discrepancies in Billy Doe's various accounts didn't shock her conscience. But she was shocked by the leniency of the sentencing guidelines.


To show how much prosecutorial Kool-Aid she was drinking, the judge dismissed Billy Doe's initial crazy statements to the archdiocese social workers because, the judge said, Billy Doe supposedly was "ambushed and under the influence of heroin."

The judge's claim that the social workers ambushed poor Billy is flatly contradicted by Billy Doe's grand jury testimony.

Billy Doe told the grand jury that shortly after he phoned in a complaint of abuse to the archdiocese, one of the social workers called him on his cell phone, asked to meet with him, and he agreed to a meeting.

The morning the social workers showed up at his house, Billy told the grand jury, he had just gone to the methadone clinic, and had been driven home by his father the police sergeant. When Billy and his father got home, the two archdiocese social workers knocked on the door. There was no answer, so the social workers called Billy Doe on his cell phone. Billy told the grand jury his father told him not to answer the door or his cell phone.

Billy's testimony to the grand jury was that he willfully disobeyed his father, snuck out of the house, and told the social workers to drive down the road, where he met them and willingly got into their car.

Is that an ambush, Judge Ceisler?

Billy told the grand jury he knew the two social workers worked for the archdiocese, and he recalled that one of them may have been taking notes. And then, the heroin must have kicked in, because the moment after he got into that car, it all got hazy for Billy Doe, and he conveniently forgot all those crazy stories he told the archdiocese social workers.

Where did he get the heroin, Judge? At the methadone clinic? Did his father pick up some smack for Billy on the way home from the methadone clinic? Did Billy Doe have 56 bags of heroin stashed at his house? Sadly, in the grand jury and in Judge Ceisler's courtroom, Billy Doe was never called upon to explain any of that.

Billy did tell the grand jury he was "wasted" and "high out of my mind" on heroin when he talked to the social workers. But on April 25, 2012, at the trial of Msgr. Lynn, Billy told Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti a different story:

Q. Now at the time that you're going to SOAR, you said you were in treatment for heroin with the methadone?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you also continuing to use drugs while you were in this outpatient treatment?

A. Yes.

Q. What drugs were you using?

A. Umm, on top of my methadone, I was taking Xanax and smoking weed.

Q. What type of effect does the methadone, Xanax and marijuana have on someone? How would you describe for the jury who may have never seen anyone like that?

A. Basically in a comatose state. You're not lucid. You can't think. You're completely out there ...

So this time he wasn't high on heroin, it was methadone, marijuana and Xanax, and he was basically in a coma. He must have been sleepwalking then when he snuck out of the house, went down the street where he met the social workers, got into their car and started telling stories.

Umm, really, Billy? You just kind of make it up as you go along, don't you?

Heroin, methadone, marijuana, Xanax; what's the difference? The prosecutor doesn't care; neither, apparently, does the judge. As long as we get to explain away all those crazy statements to the social workers that prove how non-credible Billy Doe was as a witness.

Sadly, Billy Doe continues to get away with his pathetic act, thanks to all his enablers in the criminal justice system. Maybe the two defense lawyers in the courtroom were too depressed to point out the contradictions in the record to Judge Ceisler, who was clearly on a roll.

Like the D.A., she too had bought into Billy's B.S.


The judge read aloud her sentences: 6 to 12 years for Engelhardt and 8 to 16 years for Shero. It was a decision that pleased all those people in the crowd with ribbons pinned on their chests. It was also the easy way out. And the dishonest one.

Judge Ceisler, the trial I witnessed in your courtroom shocked my conscience. Especially the final moments of that sentencing hearing.

The judge had just hammered the defendants with long jail terms for crimes that never happened. The families of both men were sobbing.

The court crier, previously noted for her inaccuracy in reading the actual charges against the defendants, went over to the grieving relatives and ordered every sobbing one of them to leave.

"We're not allowed to cry?" asked Tracey Boyle, Father Engelhardt's niece.

No, Tracey. When Judge Ellen Ceisler sends your beloved uncle the priest off to jail for a crime he didn't commit, you're not even allowed to cry about it.

Does that shock anybody else's conscience?

"It finally feels good to make my family proud of me."


  1. Isn't there some where else, a higher court. Somewhere these men can appeal to? Think the Governor should investigate the Philadelphia D.A. Office. There is something wrong here. None of this makes any sense to me. Billy Doe needs help and I think it is an injustice to him if no one gets him this help. I think the jury must have been a sleep or hearing impaired. Thank you Ralph for all of your good work. I have read all of your writing and the comments, it just seems like there are a lot of people who are just out to get the priests. I have agreed with everything you have written.

    1. YES!!! This is what I have been wondering all investigation by a source or sources with no "vested interest" for either side!! Some heads...some of those much higher up should disbarred, be standing trial themselves for making a blatant mockery of the US justice system!!! Wouldn't some of our more nationally known investigative reporters be of help? The word needs to spread...that an extremely dangerous precedence has been set that could very well threaten all law abiding citizens should this be allowed to stand and not hold those manipulating the system accountable. I have to agree...from the jurors to the lawyers to the judge...why don't they offer explanations to these very serious issues...WE ARE the public...we HAVE a right to demand to know...and if everything is on the "up and up" I see no reason to deny us the answers Mr. Cipriano asks on behalf of us all!! It is our "freedom" to demand is our "right" to know and they are denying us all!! Isn't this what we are demanding of the Catholic Church...transparency...answers to questions?? Hidden agendas and misuse of power are counterproductive for all whether you are the Catholic Church or representatives of the legal system!!!
      A Concerned North Carolinian

  2. Ralph - just punches pulled.....and right between the eyes!

    Let's all of us stay on Ceisler's case so that she sends her trial report and order to the Superior Court on time, unlike Sarmina who dragged her heels for 6 months and then had to be 'compelled' by the Superior Court to provide it.

    Outstanding work!

  3. Ralph - Your best story yet.

    1. If this is the best........

    2. I said yet idiot. See there is more to come from Ralph on this injustice. Stop wasting people's time with them having to approve your such intellectual comments.

  4. Thank you, Ralph, for your dogged reporting on this trial. I have no sympathy for child molesters, but these men are not that. I remain hopeful that their verdicts will be overturned on appeal, and that some kind of justice will be applied to the judge and district attorney.

  5. Wednesdy was a sad day for those seeking mercy in that courtroom, but unfortunately, this case was lost long before the wrong charges were read to those jurors. Wearing a Roman Catholic collar, in Fr. Engelhardt's case, is the only thing he's guilty of, as those jurors brought their hatred of the church into that deliberation room before making their illogical decision to convict those 2 men. How 12 jurors with any common sense could buy those stories of Billy Doe, and then the judge, in her remarks that Doe was ambushed by the archdiocesan counselor when he was high on heroin just shows her inability to recognize the lies and deceit that accuser brought into her courtroom. Oh that's right, drug addicts don't lie. or steal or connive.

    Neither of these defendants would plead out prior to the trial because they wouldn't admit to crimes they simply didn't commit. That to me, speaks volumes about their innocence. That takes courage.

  6. Let me just ask this: Ralph, you said that you went to the Jury Foreman's house last weekend and the foreman wouldn't talk. Seriously, would you talk? This blog has been so full of insults and slamming the jurors, and the people commenting on here, especially if you don't agree with the majority opinion. I've seen the jury called "brain trusts", someone compared them to 3rd graders, ALL 12 came to the wrong decision, they weren't paying attention, blah, blah, blah. (There were so many mean remarks and name calling, blatant lies, etc. on here, that were appalling.) Just for the record, this doesn't mean that I believe that the defendants were guilty or innocent. Perhaps we'll never know. I'm just pointing out why I think the jury wouldn't talk. Who needs this nastiness? I'd run like hell...

    1. Here's a question for you - what makes you think the jurors are reading this blog?

      In my opinion, yes my opinion, all the jurors are cowards. Only one has spoken publicly and that was by good luck her being home. What does that tell you about their character? Not one can stand up and defend their actions or reasons for a conviction.

    2. Out of everything in this article thats what you comment on. Sounds like you were on the jury. The jurors are spineless and didn't want to go against the mob mentality. Anybody with half a brain can see these two men are innocent. And on judgement day you will have to answer to whoever it is you believe in. Hopefully. They will not have mercy on you. And the men and women of that jury aren't speaking up, because they know they were wrong. That jury foreman will have to live with what she did for the rest of her life. Hopefully she never gets a good nights sleep again. And quite frankly, who gives a shit what they have to say now!

  7. Very interesting story about all the characters. Looking at the judges - Sarmina and Ceisler, both wanted to make an example of the Archdiocese by trying the priests and teacher for the alleged sins committed by other priests decades ago. That is like trying a rapist and sentencing him to make an example of other rapists which is not the way to dispense justice.

    My advice is for the lawyers to contact Lynn's lawyers and get helpful critique of their appeal before they file it. Feedback will help along with emotional support.

    There are only two trials left - one for Father Brennan in Philadelphia and another for Rev McCormick in Montgomery County if I have his name right. Due to expiration of SOL, deceased priests and victims, no other trials are left in the horizon. Once the two trials are over, that is it.

    THe unprofessionalism of all who participated in the witch hunt of trials - judges, prosecutors is very telling and will resound loudly when the priests and teacher are freed from prison through successful appeals.

  8. Another great report. Maybe if there were more reporters like you Philly would not be as corrupt as it is. The building collapse is just latest example of Philly corruption. From scape goat heavy equipment operator to the now supposed suicide, by the building inspector. After reading the corruption of the Philly DA office and the judges from both trials. I have learned in Philly there is no justice only people in power and doing all they can to stay in power while making allot more money then they are supposed to have.

  9. So Ralphie:
    I take it you never read the TWO Grand Jury reports concerning the Phila Archdiocese Child Abuse?

    1. Here we go again. another uninformed outsider who read the grand jury reports and believes everything in there is true. Was it not acknowledged that there were over 20 errors in the 2nd one?

    2. Grand Jury reports present just the prosecution side of the picture, they control the environment, buy the hoagies and pizza. the individuals being accused do not have counsel present, so many take the 5th, but from what I know about this particular case amongst the defendants, Fr. Engelhardt did not take the 5th and went and testified truthfully that he didn't know the accuser, didn't assault anyone but those words fell on deaf ears. Read the reports, it's nothing but a handwritten chronological history dating back some 50 years about dead and infirmed priests that unfortunately couldn't be brought to trial, reported extensively by the local & national media prior to this most recent trial. Where could any defendant much less one wearing a Roman Catholic collar get a fair trial. certainly, NOT in this city. The DA got away with twisting the truth throughout this entire set of trials in the interest of making innocent men pay for the sins of the arthdiocese from decades ago. and if you attended the most recent trial, you would know firsthand that the evidence particularly the testimony of the accuser did not support the specific charges they were convicted of in tht court.

    3. Thank you Sinton. Poor anonymous must be a want to be judge. or bishop, or pope. Even God.

  10. I Sinton: Of course Ralph read both reports as he mentions both the 2005 and 2011 reports in this post. What is your point? Both reports are rather similar and as reported here the 2011 report contains 20 factual errors. The fact that abuse occurred decades ago and was improperly handled by two deceased former Archbishop should have had no bearing in this case but it did to the great shame of the Philadelphia D.A.'s office and the jurors. Convicting innocent men because of the crimes of the past is not justice; it is bloodlust.

    1. Your DA Seth Williams:

  11. Again with the pictures? Guilty by drug use and dress?
    Again sorry to all the defendants' families. Good luck with the appeals process.

    1. Exactly Jim, what do they want him to do stay in a dark room and cry. I'd give them all the finger too.

    2. Real sincere, Jim.


    3. Could you possibly quit telling me what I'm thinking? Quit projecting your lack of morality on to me. I am sincere. if the defendants are innocent as you say, why would I want innocent men punished for what they did not do?
      That's why all this is so fake. If I'm not with you; I'm agin you? This aint the Hatfields and the Mc Coys and you're not George W. Bush. Another "your either with us or against us" kind of dick head.

  12. Ralph,

    You once again show your biased reporting. This is not a war us survivors have won. It was only one hard fought battle. The catholic church turned us into victims, and by NO help from the catholic church we have turned ourselves into survivors.

    By your writings and reading other comments here the majority still believe the catholic church cannot be touched, and because the people have spoken and it is not something you or the others want to accept you want a do-over, and you come up with these mysterious individuals who you claim Billy Doe is lying.

    Did you not report Billy Doe's own brother did not believe him. I did not hear anything like that in the letter that was read in court.

    If the readers here want to face true reality I invite them to read comments from other news sources across this city and the country.

    Engelhardt and Shero by our justice system will have the right to appeal their convictions when then they must prove their innocence. When or if this will ever happen and the convictions are upheld who will you or your readers blame then ?

    1. How many stories do you have for your alleged abuse? What you fail to see that Billy changed his mind repeatedly over the last 4 years. Never once giving the same story twice. Bell choir, calendar - all enough to prove reasonable doubt. This case should have never made it out of DA's initial investigation. remember it was started when abraham was in charge who by the way let it sit there until she was out of office. williams wanted it for political and career purposes only and it looks like he got it.

      BTW - still waiting for you to respond to my meeting invitation.

    2. In this masterful piece of journalism Ralph has given a summary, blow by blow, of what occurred at the trial as well as the aftermath. It is a brilliant piece of investigative journalism. Even Dennis should be able to follow Ralph's point by point explanation of what occurred and what went wrong.

      Ralph is also correct in stating that the victims have won the war against the church because now the most vulnerable citizens among us are Catholic priests who no longer enjoy the presumption of innocence by their church leaders, civil authorities and the common citizen. As this trial has aptly demonstrated a priest's life - and by extension someone like Mr. Sherro - can and will have their lives along with their families lives destroyed by a troubled person like Billy Doe.

    3. Dennis, I am biased, but it's in favor of the truth. I came into this case pro-prosecution. I sat through every minute of this trial (and the Lynn trial) I've read all the documents from the grand jury, the police interviews, etc. i've interviewed lots of people involved in the case. I've seen it all first-hand.

      You and your fellow cult member Jim know nothing except what's playing in your heads. You keep filtering all evidence through your cartoon filter that says priests evil, victims always right, and covered in truth. You're both just a couple of ideologues standing on your soap boxes. I believe I described your ilk as a roving lynch mob. Isn't it time for you to gather up your nooses and head off to the next locale?

    4. There must be another guilty priest on trial somewhere.

    5. You know that there is in this city alone within a few months another priest goes on trial for sexual abuse of a child and if you need me to refresh your memory the re-trial of Fr. Brennan.

      So unless the Beasley firm has seen for themselves the biased reporting you have done by blaming everyone else besides the convicted, I am sure you will sit behind your computer failing to do the homework a reporter should do once again obtaining your CULT following.

      Your own words have put this case in perspective. "The post Mortem" You have seen the wake, the funeral and finally the burial.

      Accept IT.


      When were you abused Ralph ?

      Who was your rapist Ralph ?

      How did your family deal with you being RAPED Ralph ?

      How many times do you wake up screaming Ralph ?

      How many times did your sons ask your wife if Daddy is going to be o.k. Ralph ?

      How many abusive clergy members are in your household Ralph ?

      How many of your family members get convicted of abuse ?

      Stop pretending you seen it all first-hand. YOU SEEN NOTHING.

      YOU keep pretending to be a professional .

    7. Dennis -you simply should have told your alleged abuser 'NO' in the first place. Or you should have told your parents if it actually happened.


    8. You Joe, I am afraid, are a total idiot. You know nothing about clerical abuse or Dennis's case. This isn't a stranger with candy. This is someone central; someone who has authority in the child's life. Dolt! You should be ashamed.

    9. Jim - with all due respect, I was addressing Dennis, not you.

      Do you perchance have first hand experience with this kind of abuse?

    10. Yes, I am a compensated victim from Los Angeles.

  13. Jim,

    Do you see the blunt in his hand on the motorcycle. Do you think that's tobacco? Seems funny that a "recovering heroin and pill addict" who has beaten the demons is flaunting pictures on facebook drinking beer and smoking pot. Isn't a recovering addict supposed to at least refrain from other drugs and alcohol, unless they are medicinal? The fix is in Jim. Its all a scam, maybe even the heroin abuse. It definitely was not caused by these two innocent men.

    Billy Doe - Con Artist, lowlife, thief, junky. That's all he is.

    1. Now smoking weed proves Billy's lying? If he's not in recovery he's guilty?

      Billy and his addictions are not your cup of tea, I get it. So now what?

  14. Hey Ralph, What cult of victimization? The preponderance of evidence shows the majority of victims were victimized.
    Now we're a cult and represented by SNAP?
    SNAP represents no victims but themselves and the Church they work for. Why another victory was handed the Church yesterday by SNAP's actions at the World Court. The only victories the Church has won in the past few years have all been handed them by SNAP; on a platter.
    You are a fool Ralph plain and simple or worse corrupt.
    If you had stated your position re: the defendants and left it there I might think differently. But when you preface your statements, above, on the trial, supposedly your focus, with an odd construct i.e. "the cult of victimization", I know now you are a fake. You're not interested in truth and justice your interested and paid to smear all victims. Screw you.

    1. Jim, thanks for so masterfully illustrating my point.

    2. Jim sounds just like an angry cult member.

    3. Where's the fucking lynch mob???? No where that's where. Why do you need to invent one, Ralph?
      And where and who is "the cult" What do we do in this cult? Where do we meet? Are there conventions?
      I've never said anything about whether Billy's telling the truth or not. I don't know.
      There is no rope in my hands or Dennis's hands.
      The only thing that looks like a lynch mob around here is you lot.

      Dennis and I have both posted about how sad we feel for all the families. That really sounds mob like. I sincerely wished them well in their appeals. Why would I or any victim want innocent people jailed?
      It makes absolutely no sense to come to the conclusions you do about
      victims from our actions here.....Unless something else is going on....maybe like a pincer move between SNAPO and you justice seeking folks (mostly unnamed you notice) Because between SNAPO and you, victims are looking like shit. Is that your real purpose here?
      Broad brush all us victims as a lynch mob? When in reality, remember reality, we have hardly met any victims thanks to SNAP/Church. And all this after a 12 person jury found Billy truthful. I and Dennis weren't on that jury.
      Again if an injustice has been done here. I certainly support the appeals system to right that wrong.

      So where's the cult?
      Where's the mob?
      Where's the rope?
      Why they are all in Ralph's imagination. The question is why?

    4. Dennis, thanks for the melodrama. It really is always about you, isn't it?

      Jim, forgive me but your words of sympathy for the family ring hollow. Dennis has posted often, and that's why I gave him the boot for a while, about how much he was going to enjoy the suffering of the victims.

      A lynch mob screams for blood. Keep screaming Dennis and Jim!

    5. You, sir, have completely lost your mind.
      What a reporter you aren't.
      And numbers aren't your strong suite either.
      You must be a "believer" in miracles; if two people are a "mob".

    6. You must have completely lost your mind.

      When did two, count 'em, two people posting on line from different ends of the country become a "mob"?

      Not only are you not a good reporter. You're no mathematician either.

    7. Screaming?
      Dennis gets hot headed so do I but our hot headedness isn't the issue here, please don't make it such.
      2 pissed off people do not a mob make.
      We post as a reaction to your behavior not Billy Does' behavior. You're pissed at us because we didn't agree with you and critiqued your take on Billy's guilt or innocence. We're just victims we never claimed a lock on truth or anything but being that,victims/survivors. We don't know the truth about Billy either. And we have never posted we have. So what's the deal?

      You've put him on trial here. You have every right to but how come the rest of the media isn't taking your take on this trial?
      And really how the kid dresses? How he dresses and does drugs has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. He does drugs and sells them so what.So does and did your local pharmacist, the very same drugs you say Billy does. One is legal the other isn't so?

      But all that's just the tar on your brush.

      Again, we don't know if he's telling the truth or not. the jury seemed to think he did.

      Your mad at us because We just didn't jump on your "mob's" bandwagon.

      2 victims vs. your crowd wow what a fuckin' mob we are.

    8. The media, which I have spent my life in, is lazy, corrupt and running scared. If you're relying on the media to tell you the truth, good luck with that!

    9. The same organization you say you have spent your life in is the same organization you say is lazy, corrupt and the truth should not be trusted.

      Then WHY should anyone who reads your blog believe any word you say ?

  15. But let's not forget about the pending civil trials against the archdiocese and certain priests based on the allegations of childhood sexual abuse. Threshold for guilt or innocence is much lower than that in the criminal courtroom. However, the big advantages are the production of documents, correspondence, etc. from the archdiocesan offices as well as the depositions of certain high-ranking clergy in positions of middle and upper management over there at 222 N. 17th St.

    Hope Ralph is around for his analysis and critique of those proceedings. I look forward to comments, reflections and input from the bloggers who are on now in response to the information, details and reports forthcoming during the civil trials.

    1. @skiadvocat - Mike.

      While I agree with you that the thresholds for guilt or innocence are lower in a civil trial, I would hope that these defendants' lawyers (whoever they happen to be) are much better prepared to exploit all the exculpatory evidence that they seemed to either gloss over or just miss in the most recent debacle. They appeared to be excessively overconfident.

      The lawyers should also try to get the civil trials postponed until the Lynn / Engelhardt / Shero appeals are heard.

      In the interest of justice (isn't that what this is all supposed to be about), I would also hope that they apply for a change of venue and allow individual trials rather than lumping everyone together.

      After what's happened (the Grand Jury Reports onward), no priest is ever going to get a fair trial in Philadelphia.

    2. I hope those archdiocesan lawyers look for every opportunity to postpone and delay that trial while the appellate process for these individuals is being litigated in the higher court. Joe 1944, I agee, make that dope addict wait for a long long time for his next day in court.

  16. Thank you Dennis. Well the church is finally realizing it CAN be touched and will take responsibility for their actions like the rest of us. BigTRial unfortunately has always had bias reporting. Imagine the good they could do. As I said before, judge was wrong, jury was wrong. DA was wrong., victim was wrong. Oh but the Church was RIGHT. Give me a break.

    1. Tip - start reading Ralph's blogs from the beginning of the trials and not backwards starting with this one. Should be evident that Ralph was pro-prosecution at the start. I was only after the trial started did he start to see the circus act that the judge was running.

    2. Who exactly said that the Church "was right"? and what exactly was said? You can't have knowledge of what is being discussed here and make inane comments like that. The subject is 2 innocent men are in jail-Billy Doe falsely accused them- the jury paid no attention to the instruction and were out to lunch-the judge had an agenda (read about her on media report)-the DA is an ambitious politician, wanting to climb the ladder and so much more... You need to go back and read and try to comprehend the piece written before the comments!!

    3. Josie, media report is a looser as big trial. All bias reporting. Speaking of inane comments

  17. Prisoners have the right to file an appeal. Judges reading the appeals have the right to ignore them and decline to provide any relief which is what usually happens in the majority of cases.

    In this case and in Lynn's case, lawyers will call to attention discrepancies in the way the prosecution presented the case by relying on a heroin addict who had a propensity to tell and embellish a different story about his abuse to a jury like a parrot is asked to parrot the words. No one on jury will believe the word of a heroin addict who tells stories that conflict himself. And no judge reading the appeal will simply toss the paper and refuse relief when this will scream for his attention and catch his mind.

    No judge will embrace the notion of putting innocent people in jail in order to punish the church for decades of "alleged" child abuse with the exception of Sarmina as I strongly feel Ceisler is afraid she will be dragged under the mud and ruled accordingly in order to protect her own skin. I say alleged because the abuse cases were never reported to the police or were reported to the police who did not believe that such a thing was possible for Catholic priests.

    Putting three priests and a teacher in jail in order to appease victims of child abuse and organizations such as SNAP is akin to executing a murder not only for his murder but for the murders of other murderers.

  18. To Anonymous 6/14 -@827 am and AxelFoley:
    No, I am not a juror. I consider myself a decent person who does not see the need to slaughter the jurors because the outcome was not what most people on here would have hoped for and expected. The calling of names continues: cowards, spineless, looking for bloodlust, etc. How can it be that a total of 12 completely different people from different backgrounds that were all on the same page, yet they are accused of purposely not seeing the facts? Does that make sense that they would gang up on 2 defendants like that to make their lives horrible just because, or maybe, by a very rare coincidence, all 12 happened to be sociopaths, which is not a very common disorder. And, we have heard the word inconsistencies thrown around this blog daily. Ralph reports that he went to the foreman's house last weekend, but the foreman wouldn't talk and wanted him to leave his property (meaning that he WAS home, correct?). Anonymous 08:27 states above that the only reason one of the jurors spoke publicly because only by good luck she happened to be home? Is that not an inconsistent statement? I know this sounds picky, but the point is that everything seems to be misconstrued to people's liking, depending on who you want to see guilty or innocent. One again, maybe we will never know the truth. I most certainly have an opinion, but am I 100% correct? Who knows, so I don't see how all these back and forth accusations are helping the injured, whomever they may be. Thank you.

    1. No one can find 12 perfect people to serve on a jury - you get wide backgrounds of people. When you met a wide background of people, you will be disabused of the notion that you are far superior than them as going to college and earning a BA degree does not give you the right to say you are more intelligent than a high school diploma holder. There are people who have not gone to college, worked hard and learned harder lessons. Their intelligence may stun you once you get to meet them in a jury room.

      My best guest is that the two juries that decided the fate of Lynn, Avery, Englehardt and Shero had three personalities among the jurors that were strong personalities with strong leadership and analytic skills. It is obvious that a strong personality with leadership traits was selected to be the foreman and then he or she had two other stronger personalities who helped him or her sort things out and convince the jurors to agree on what they thought was best - conviction on all counts.

      Had those two cases been tried outside of Philadelphia, there might have been one conviction (Lynn) and acquittals of Shero and Englehardt based on Billy Doe's fabrications of a testimony. The trial should have been held outside Philadelphia to minimize media influence among chosen jurors.

      Or as a devil's advocate, the jurors in both trials saw this as their last hurrah to make a difference before going to their boring, uninspiring lives like we all do.

    2. I agree with James. I've written before that not everyone is a type A personality. Some people are pushovers. Is it so hard to believe that a couple of jurors had strong opions and changed some minds around during deliberations. So if that's the case, and I believe it is. That means some of the jurors just went with the flow. Therefore they where either too stupid to see the facts in front of them or they followed the mob mentality of a few. So their either spineless or stupid. Take your pick. It's not easy to have integrity. If it was, these two men would been free. They are just as guilty as the judge and da.

    3. Wow! What are you talking about?

  19. Dennis Ecker, Can you please refer me to other publications that are covering this story? (you stated above "that If the readers here want to face true reality I invite them to read comments from other news sources across this city and the country".) I would find it refreshing to read this story without a lot of bias and ill will. I will just point out a mean spirited hope directed to me when I commented about calling the jurors demeaning names. This revolting wish was sent by AxelFoley: "Anybody with half a brain can see these two men are innocent. And on judgement day you will have to answer to whoever it is you believe in. Hopefully. They will NOT HAVE MERCY ON YOU." Wow, what an UnChristianlike, and vile thing to say. If you are supporting the defendants, God help them. What, may I ask, do you wish on your enemies??? You are a scary man, Axel Foley...

    1. You must be a juror if you are so threatened by axel. I feel the same exact way as Axel. Unchrstianlike my a**. The only unchristian like thing that happened was billy dope made up lies and an awful DA wanted to further his career, so he listened to what he wanted to hear in Billy's "testimony." think what you want, but as axel stated(mr. Or mrs. Juror) "on judgement day you will have to answer to whoever it is you believe in."

    2. Who said I was a Christian? You don't have to read what I write. Feel free to skip right over it. So it's Christian like to send two innocent men to jail? Ok. Think what you will of me. I could care less. But any sound minded adult can see the facts of this case. Just like some of the lawyers who were writing on here. There was so much reasonable doubt in this case. It boggles the mind to know these men are in jail. This is no better than third countries that bury adulterers up to their waste and stone them to death. It's the same mob mentality.

    3. Ann 9;21 I am so sorry that the discourse here is so hostile to anyone who disagrees with the construct that Billy's a lying thief.

      He may be but why the "heavy handedness" here? Like the way Axel spoke to you. It's just not a natural thing to say to someone he doesn't know.
      Is the hatred there to drive people, good people away?

      I smell something fishy about this whole set up. There is something fake about all of it.... all of it.It's just not normal.

    4. Jim, nothing gets past you. You are, Henry James, once said, and I am going to meddle slightly with the translation, the observer upon whom EVERYTHING is lost.

    5. We are quite used to your "meddling slightly with the translation",( I
      had to go for the joke there, sorry)
      So I'm an unobservant observer who can't see a mob of victims you say are there. Cool! Where are they?

    6. Are you a victim Josie? You want some attention? Or is this another low level attempt at mockery? Can I get you some water?

  20. I find it very interesting that judge ceisler (appointed by our good DA Seth) is now going to be the judge in charge of the building that was being demolished. Can we say Someone will be getting a job promotion. I am guessing with her response to the sentencing, she must be sleeping with Seth. That could be the only reason she decided to give those sentences. I was told she read the sentencing off of a piece of paper. And good old Seth had a prepared statement. Fishy fishy!

    1. anonymous @10:52

      Hi. Here's a fairly recent Philadelphia Magazine article on Seth Williams

      Interesting reading, especially on his 'assistant'.

  21. Ralph, your last part of the report, "We're not allowed to cry?" made me cry. You are gifted writer, and a seasoned and intelligent reporter. And, this line kills me.

  22. I so love this blog, and the comments, but I just skip over anything posted by "anonymous" because there are too many out there, and none of them understand the use of paragraphs. If their comments were more succinct, I would read them, but they're not. I wonder if others feel the same way I do.

    1. Thanks, Arch. I'm glad somebody gets it.

      I believe the truth in this case is eventually going to come out. I do plan to keep on it.

      Thanks again for the kind words.

  23. Most of the time I read things here from people who have no first hand experience of this case and who are only out to protect their family member or local neighborhood priest or school teacher. I have taken all the comments with a grain of salt and broad shoulders.

    Now it seems that even Ralph Cipriano's feathers can be ruffled. His statement to me "There must be another guilty priest on trial somewhere" only stresses the point that the only person he truly cared about during this trial was himself.

    He too should know unless he is living in a cave there are two more cases waiting to be heard for two other suspected abusive clergy members, and unless being informed by the Beasley Firm he is no longer needed to share his bias reporting we will once here from again not once but twice. Pretending to care for victims and/or abusers families.

    Many people "have got your number" and you will need those very kind words that some say about you.

    1. Nice projection Dennis. Not everyone thinks like you. I would have been overjoyed to be done with this case, and the archdiocese wars back on Jan. 30, if the jury had reached a sane conclusion and wound up with a hung jury, or acquittals.

      Keep howling!

    2. First you give NO answers to my questions of "how you seen it all first hand.

      I presented everyone with the facts and statements of your past reporting and statements that have been made against you. (Not to polite for a reporter if I made add)

      I present to everyone your present reporting skills and I must add I will use the same terms that were used against you in the past. (Want to try and sue me too ?)

      I present to everyone to be aware of any of your future reporting.

      Am I howling loud enough for you ?

    3. Attacking the messenger is a timed honored profession of those who deny the truth. You have attacked Ralph Cipriano none stop. I find it interesting. Since you cant refute all the evidence he has put out, and your only creditable response is the jury found them guilty. A jury foreman that wont talk to anyone in the press not just Mr Cipriano. You talk as like a you never heard of a tampered jury before. In Philly that just had a building inspector "committed suicide" and surprise no investigation was done by by the police

      These are so many unlawful, unethical and at times insane things that have happened in both trials. Yet you attack the messenger. So I wonder are just a bigot so full of hate, or do work for the the DA's office, the one's that arrest the heavy equipment operator and nobody else for that building collapsing and killing 6 people or are you from the law firm suing for droopy pants Doe.

      So much hate you have I know you will never see the truth because you don't wish to. What will you do when the truth finally come out? Will you blame MR Cipriano and just become even more angry or bitter then you are. What sad life you have

    4. Dennis, Dennis, Dennis! You know that many of us who read this blog are praying for you. We also are aware that many terrible sins took place over many decades. I don't doubt for a moment that you were victimized. And, you and other victims are in my prayers every day.

      I am happy you are part of this forum, but it's not fair to attack Ralph. He created the forum, and none of us would be privy to this information about the trials, unless Ralph was reporting.

      Calm down, Dennis, take a deep breath. Information is power. There is dearth of information out there, except for Ralph's blog. He is a blessing to all of us, even to you.

    5. It's not a "timed honored profession", but it might be a time-honored practice. There's a difference there. And when the "truth finally come out," we might find out that English has been sorely neglected in Philadelphia schools. Sorry, but English is still important. Your phrase "So I wonder are just a bigot so full of hate" has little to no meaning. Take a class. "What sad life you have" says a lot.

    6. Take it easy professor. Sometimes people get fired up when they write. Just because it doesn't come across as proper English. Doesn't mean you don't get the point.

  24. Ecker, Just reading this and trying to understand the context, is that a threat?

    1. Dennis Ecker: douchebag.

    2. a self-absorbed, immature, pathetic individual hardly worth commenting about.

  25. I have posted before about the pending civil cases against the archdiocese relative to these clergy abuse matters. I think that these proceedings will be extremely valuable and important with respect to providing statements, evidence, documents, correspondence, etc. that will provide factual and objective detail into the decision-making and conduct of those in archdiocesan management.

    Does anyone else here share the same interest and perspective re the pending civil cases and a golden opportunity to understand what went on "behind the scenes"?

  26. I couldn't comment on the Ecker;douchebag comment, but I could not agree more. I can not say I met this individual. I think he was in the shirt described above at sentencing. But douchebag is probably th word that would describe him the most. I love that he writes to Ralph so negatively and Ralph approves them, as if he is really threatened by him- hahahahahahahahahaha. There are many anonymous here, probably bc it is annoying to sign in to your account and that is the only reason. Ralph, you are GREAT! Keep up the amazing work and I know i don't have to tell you, but don't worry about douches like Dennis Ecker- hahaha! Wasnt he asked to meet someone near his jersey home and he never responded and someone else asked him to meet recently and he never responded, but yet he was to call Anonymous a coward- hahahhahahhahaha! He always makes my day with his comments. I know deep inside he knows he is wrong with his daily comments, but he is a douche that will never admit he is wrong.

    1. You do understand, don't you, that douching is what women do to clean their reproductive organs? What is your fascination with this? Has no woman explained to you what this actually means? It has nothing to do with meeting someone near their jersey home or anything like that. Your comment is very confusing.

    2. I have never denied to meet with anyone. Facts is I'm still waiting to meet with chippy111 for coffee. But his invitation disappeared.

      Now for anonymous, you should worry about having enough fuel in your car to visiting someone up state.

      When you grow up maybe I will take you out on the boat fishing.


      The douchebag

    3. Dennis, you continue to show you true colors as a douchebag, that is probably the nicest thing to call you. Sarah(snap)tx , you are obviously showing your age. Use the Internet, not the websters dictionary hard book In your bookcase to look up the meaning up of d'bag and a d. Continually to make yourself look like an a**. Dennis, happy father day, hope your children never accused of something they never did or billy dope sells them a drug, I can imagine you have a great reputation with your sons and daughter Friends parents and they will stand by you- hahahahahahahahahaha, right! How's jersey?


  27. To Joe 1944: Please tell me that the comment hat you made is just a bad joke? Are you truly that ignorant about child sexual abuse? Apparently, you have never, ever read anything about the dynamics between a Pedophile and his victim. How can that possibly be? "Just say No"????? And then you have the nerve to tell a victim what he should have done??? If only saying No was that easy or possible in these situations, this world would have no victims of childhood sexual abuse. Absolutely ZERO...

    "Dennis -you simply should have told your alleged abuser 'NO' in the first place. Or you should have told your parents if it actually happened."

    1. @anonymous 1:31AM

      Sorry about that comment - I should have phrased it more diplomatically. I sincerely apologize if I hurt anyone who has been sexually abused. That was not my intention.

      I guess that I was looking at the abuse through by own 'lens'. I had two potentially serious experiences in my own life, and I'll share them with you, along with the 'aftermaths'.

      I grew up in the Bronx in the late 40's. My parents and I lived in a 5 story walk-up on University Avenue. When I was 4 or 5, Shirley - a neighboring lady - used to stop by to visit with my mother for coffee and she often invited me over to her apartment when my mother was present.

      I remember that I was intrigued by her overhead chandelier in that some of the bulbs were not working. So, Shirley would often pick me up and let me replace the burned out bulbs. Sometimes, she'd pick me up properly, and other times 'improperly' shall we say. My mother caught wind of this and the visits to Shirley's abruptly stopped. To this day - though - I get the oddest (but not unpleasant) feeling when I look at a certain type of chandelier. Repressed memories? - dunno.

      When I was in the 8th grade, I used to hang out with my friends at a neighborhood swimming pool. Fairly often, I would find several of my friends roughhousing with an older man who had to be in his late 20's. One day, I swam down to join them and this guy wrapped his arm around me, pulled me against his erect penis (hidden by his bathing suit) and asked me if it felt good. I told him NO. He then went one step further and started to pull my bathing suit down. Gross-out time for an 8th grader! It was very simple to swim away, change my suit in the locker room and then pedal home on my bike.

      After a couple of days, I told my Mom who referred the matter to the police. An investigation ensued and the problem was 'solved', although I don't know the actual details. I did find out later that this fellow had been 'teaching' my friends the finer points of masturbation - both solo and mutual. This guy was a real sweetheart!

      All I can tell you folks is that this worked out very well for me. My wife and I have instructed our children as they have our grand children.

      In my case, I had a reasonably good relationship with my parents (especially my Mom) and I could tell her just about anything. I can understand - though - how an abuser can patiently, deliberately - and over time - groom his or her victim, especially when they come from disfunctional families.

      Again, my sincerest apologies if I offended anyone.

  28. What's not reported in this play-by-play pulling no punches report is that Shero attempted suicide to avoid arrest. Regardless of what anyone saw in his hospital chart, he wrote a suicide note. And in his suicide note he did note say he was innocent of the crime he was being arrested for. That may mean nothing to Ralph, but it had to mean a whole lot to the jury which is being so maliciously maligned here.

    What's also not reported in this play-by-play is the Avery gambit as a hostile witness recanting his plea of guilty, and that also did not impress Ralph, but it was reported otherwise that it blew the jury away with its mendacity and it seemed contrived.

    What needs to be reported here is that the appellate court is not going to review the evidence. It might review the admission of evidence regarding decades-old cases establishing a pattern. But it will not re-try the case. These defendants' best shot at an appeal is inadequacy of counsel. And even that will be very hard to prove since their counsel has a reputation of being stellar.

    Question: why did the defense lawyers leave so much out and fail to cross-examine Billy Doe at length and, maybe, throw these two defendants under the bus?

    Shouldn't Ralph be banging on the defense lawyers' doors instead of the jurors' doors? Shouldn't he be banging on the doors of the Archdiocese? The jurors could not deliberate on what was not presented to them. And certainly the jurors should not open their doors to this rabid crowd which is so willing to overlook and completely forget the game-changing aspects of the trial. An innocent man does not attempt suicide with a suicide note that does not proclaim his innocence. This supposedly innocent man claims victimhood at every turn because of his vision problems, and yet he has a driver's license. Come on!

    1. A muddled mind tells a muddled tale. Please wake me up when it's over.

    2. Dennis Ecker, Jim Robertson, Sarah TX2 -- Larry, Moe and Curly!

    3. Sarah, I wish you would add more to this blog. Your comments are first class. Thank You.

    4. Again with the name calling? No one on our side's called your side any names when you only disagreed with us about who 's guilty here?
      Again another abnormal response. ??????

    5. Anon at 8:52. One cannot wake the dead.
      There, more name calling back at you. You bore.

    6. Defense lawyers failed to cross examine Billy Doe in both trials because he was "protected" by Judge Sarmina and then Judge Ceisler. The unpredictability in the judge's reaction was rattling to both lawyers as they did not want to anger the judge and let the jury see how mean the lawyers were to Billy Doe. In this case, this will show out in the appellate review.

  29. I wonder if the FOP, the DA, and the judge are making back door deals? Since Billy Doe's uncle
    Is a board member of the FOP, his Dad is a SGT, and it's reelection year. It's not a bad thing to have the FOP supporting you.

  30. Well said, SarahTX2!

  31. ah, the infamouus 12 month gap between the reporting of these allegedly vicious crimes on January 30th, 2009 and the late January 2010 date the investigation actually started with the interview of Billy Doe/adult version in the presence of his parents (is that a bit unusual method of investigation of such a shocking set of accusations, to have your parents present), perhaps someone connected to this particular timeframe from the DA's office will step forward with somehing other than, the boy's name was mispelled on the archdiocesan letter. RIGHT LAST NAME, CORRECT ADDRESS INCLUDING ZIP CODEAND THE FATHER IS A Sergant in the police department, SAME ADDRESS & ZIP CODE. For all those who weren't in the courtroom to hear that lame explanation, that is what the prosecutor would like everyone to believe.
    Keep up the good work Ralph, perhaps the code of silence that exists in the DA"s office about this malicious prosecution, illogical verdict and vicious sentencing by this judge will ultimately change and bring some justice to these innocent men.

  32. Once again I have read nothing that has shocked me but maybe what I have to say next might shock those who feel that Ralph Cipriano was in this for anyone other then himself.

    It is true that Cipriano had given me that so-called first time ever ban from posting on Bigtrial.Net.

    But the truth must be told that Ralph Cipriano is the same individual who had asked me to return. When offered the request to return I had sent off an e-mail to Mr. Cipriano asking him if he had thought the request through. I thinking of YOUR feelings that how would anonymous, Chippy111 (where is my coffee ?) or others like them feel about my return.

    My response from Mr. Cipriano was "lets have some fun".

    Now he has reported numerous times how he feels of the injustice in this case. He has reported on the pain that both Engelhardt and Shero's family are going through. Without ever mentioning the pain survivors have and are going through.

    Is this the fun you speak of ?

    As I was shocked to read it the first time and still feel some shock. I ask you his devout readers do you see any fun ? Do you regard this case and blog as your personal entertainment ?

    Where is the fun Ralph ?

    Is this case putting a smile on your face. Is this case making you feel like you accomplished something ? Is this the stab in the back to anonymous, chippy111, Josie bailey or others because of your own agenda of "LETS HAVE SOME FUN"

    I and and so many others are tired of the ride you have put us on so you can "HAVE SOME FUN'

    1. Well said Dennis.
      I think Ralphie needed you here. Needed you here bad. In order to create "dramatic tension" and hold interest.
      If you and SaraTx and the good anon and I all took a walk, what have they got here? Nada, as in nada a fucking thing.
      And again this either "with us or against us" is sheer bullshit.
      None of the for mentioned people came here positive the kid was telling the truth, and none of us pretended to believe that. We all said we didn't know. The jury believed he was and now people are in jail. None of which we had any control over. Yet we are personally beat up here for no reason. Save we don't agree. It's too, too odd for me.

    2. Always the victim, aren't you, Jimbo?

    3. Did someone go to a therapist once?

      I am A victim not THE victim

      And I didn't make me one.

  33. How many of you have noticed his recent addition to this blog:

    "Updated to include new outrages".

    Is what you like to see Ralph ?

    Is this more of "LETS HAVE SOME FUN"

    1. Dennis, I'm following a story. You can either tag along or get lost, it's up to you. You certainly do carry on like a drama queen. Take a breather, will ya?

  34. Dennis,

    You are a coward and would not meet and have coffee to air out our differences regarding the case and maybe find some common ground. I work right by your home in Palmyra, but you won't show. I think you feel threatened by me or whoever else your crazy mind thinks of and that is why you refused to go to the trial, the sentencing, or anywhere else, yet you have made three times as many comments here on this website and were blackballed for over a month. Go get some help my friend. If not, get some balls and step up. If neither of those two fit your bill, shut the F up. Read the article and every other article. The truth is there. From the DA to the junky, these innocent men were framed for political and financial gain. End of story.

    1. Why all this extraordinary anger? We are ladies and gentlemen,aren't we? So if your a loving relative chippy, say so. Other wise it's all just too much unneeded anger on both sides. It's poison. Don't do that,please.
      We said we don't know if Doe's a liar; what else can we give you;
      What else do you want?
      Oh I know your opposition is so needed for your show.
      We are the victims'/ boy's and girls. We, Dennis and I and a few others are the only victims you will ever see thanks to SNAP/Church. And we aren't the enemy. We simply aren,t

  35. I would like to thank Manos for writing the letters for not only Billy Doe but for James Doe. James does not know, nor agree or approve of these heinous allegations. If he did, he would have showed his support by appearing in the courtroom.

  36. Jim, I believe you are 100% correct. If we departed along with SarahTX and the good Anon what would they have ? Ralph would have his readers who praise him, but what would they have except to argue among themselves.

    We who have our eyes open and who never judged until the evidence presented itself have become the enemy because we are a symbol of why four individuals are in prison. They truly believe that you or I sat on that jury or in someway we were able to sway the jury of all three convicted priests and a school teacher.

    They see the FACTS of their savior (Cipriano) and continue to ignore or fail to question if what he has said is the truth. Instead when that evidence is presented (I will be happy to send a copy of the e-mail to anyone) they become angry. Even the writer himself has become defensive.

    Chippy, there is no differences to air out. I will continue to stand my ground and see to it that ANY clergy member who abused or abuses a child spends time in prison, and you will continue to stand yours, and when it is all said and done I truly believe our justice system will prevail.

    Now Jim, I cannot say this will happen or not and that is why I am forwarding you a copy of this comment, but do not be surprised if I once again or even you receive a so-called ban.

    1. I have been kicked out of better places than this.
      No Ralph needs us for now.
      With no enemy to insult what have they got? Zip.
      What do you think's up with the readership? I'd love to know who really reads this thing and how many read it.

    2. Ralph, If there are any "drama queens" around here they just may be you."Updated to include new outrages" What is this "Tosca"?. Girl you are beyond "Drama Queen" you're a "Drama" Pope.

    3. Now Jim didn't you read "he's following a story"

      Get with it man.

  37. Dennis - "Now for anonymous, you should worry about having enough fuel in your car to visiting someone up state. When you grow up maybe I will take you out on the boat fishing.

    So basically your calling me poor white trash? if your so worried about putting fuel in cars for people that have to travel up or across the state to visit their innocent loved ones why not start a collection.

    Grow up? are you kidding me. you are a fifty something old year old child. continue to give out threats and potential lawsuits because people do not agree with your side of the story.

    You say you would not want to see an innocent person in jail, yet you have failed to attend any of the trails and have not read any of the articles that ralph has written. you are only concerned with the end result and guess what, the judicial system failed these recent two individuals.

    Will put it out there one more time since you were the one who suggested that we meet. name the time and place. i can make myself available.

    See its people like you who live for commenting on these blogs when your time would be better spent donating your time to help abused individuals who truly need it if you continue to say that you were abused and have great insight to the healing that is required. Billy's healing was never needed, cause if you think he is staying straight while on probation then maybe you should go visit him down south to see what exactly you are defending.

    1. Anonymous 10:44

      If you would like to call yourself "poor white trash" that is on you. It only shows the respect you have for yourself, and why would I entertain the thought of showing you respect when you have no respect for yourself.

      I will guess in the future I will read that I called you poor white trash. But it would not surprise me since you have added words and comments in the past.

      I am the last person to correct anyone's English but I know what you meant by saying trails, but I would like to use that word. I went down one trail that branched off to two, innocent or guilty. Although sad, the correct trail to get to the final spot of justice was the guilty one.

      Now by your other comment "I can make myself available" can only lead to two possibilities you are either unemployed or retired, and if it is this first please do not blame me for that too.

      Now for you and anyone else who asks I would be more than happy to meet with you. But I must let common sense intervene, so after hearing your childish rants I do not make a mistake to have my freedom taken away and end up in the same place as those convicted.

      However, I will still take you fishing if you like, but since you act like a child I must tell you, you must wear a life jacket. Is this what this blog is for you a life jacket ? Son, there is no need for you to wear that jacket , you have done nothing wrong.

    2. always the victim dennis. never rant, degrade or act like a child yourself here. you are way to mature for that.

      and don't call me son. you have no idea of my gender and if i am a male i would hope i would not have a father such as yourself - cold and full of hate towards the world.

  38. The trial is over and the convicted have been sent to prison.

    However, I have continued to ask myself the question why would a reporter continue to be so biased and non-objective, something that he has finally admitted to me and everyone else who reads this blog. "Dennis, I am biased"

    I always believed that when a reporter told his story that him or her was to leave their personal opinion at home and remain neutral and only report their story with facts. Facts from both sides of the story without leaving out or adding information to make his report more colorful.

    I and others have seen comments allowed while others are censored. I see rules posted and not followed. I have received a ban for my cold hearted comment, and after thinking about it I would have probably banned myself. Not because of my mock interview regarding the convicted but because I did not care about the feelings of the convicted family members who I know who have done nothing wrong. For that if any family member is reading please accept my apology. But in my defense this is not a G-rated subject and although I do my best to assist those who have been abused. MY feelings will come to the surface.

    Now back to my initial concern regarding this reporter. I do not wish for him to take this as a personal attack, I am sure he is a highly respected husband, father and maybe grandfather. Although after learning some important information I believe he also maybe a puppet, with the Beasley Firm pulling his strings, and the biased reporting may not be of his own idea. I say this because once again I would like the truth be told and those of you on both sides who consider him to be a "prophet" know the truth.

    I will allow this reporter a chance to either answer questions here publicly on this blog or privately by e-mail or phone call.

    I for now will only leave a headline so it may refresh his memory and questions I may ask regarding his biased reporting and if the Beasley Firm being his sponsor has anything to do with his reporting.

    I truly believe he knows what road I will be going down and will stop at nothing to find the truth. You should be proud Mr. Cipriano because once again you have taught someone if you have the facts and the statements you do not have to be Hemingway.

    "Partners left law firm after bar fight"

    1. The arrogance with which you continue to pontificate on this blog is as astonishing as it is pitiful, Dennis. Your last post demonstrates once again your inability to comprehend what has really transpired. You misquote Ralph in your last post as saying that he is biased when in fact he said that he was biased toward the TRUTH. There is a world of difference. A journalist is suppose to look for the truth which Ralph has done.

    2. But count 'em folks. How many of you, give me a number please, do believe Ralph's telling the truth? I think that your opposition out numbers you.
      That doesn't mean your not right. It just means that 12 jury members , a number that already puts the posters here in the minority, have voted and you've lost, for now.
      So what's the need for all the drama here? agree to disagree and onward.
      I think you need a donnybrook hoping that will bring your side attention. Why not physically do a demo?

    3. Dennis and Jim, your enemy isn't me, it's the truth. It doesn't matter what you think, or I think, or what everybody else who reads this stuff on the blog collectively thinks. It matters what actually happened.

      The truth is out there behind every detail of every story that Billy told that defied logic, or didn't check out when the D.A. investigated. The truth is there in everything the other witnesses in the case told the D.A. that contradicted Billy's story.

      The truth is out there behind every question that the DA refuses to answer about a flawed investigation, and a corrupt grand jury report riddled with errors. The truth shines through the official record of this case, with every fact that contradicts the official and insane story line.

      The truth is your enemy. Whether you are too blind to see it doesn't really matter.

      The truth is the truth. It cannot be suppressed by ideologues, or people in official positions who abuse their positions. It cannot be voted on, up or down. The truth is the truth. It sets you free.

  39. Ralph I agree with you about truth. But is it on your side when you talk about victims as a " cult of victimization"? or comparing victims to a "lynch mob"?
    Let's pretend you are and have been telling the truth. What makes you think SNAP works and cares for victims? Activist victims don't; but you do? Mr."Truth seeking" Reporter won't even listen to victims who are telling him the truth about SNAP being a fraud.
    Another example from SNAP will happen tomorrow in Geneva Switzerland.
    Barbra Blaine and David Clohessy will appear to testify for 3 hours before a U.N "panel" questioning whether the Catholic Church is living up to a children's rights treaty. Of course the Churchis NOW. Yet no "panel" has been called about what the Church did to us. And all this "connection" to power and access? Done by 2 little assholes like Blaine and Clohessy from St.Louis with a staff of 3 and no "mobs" of victims, ANYWHERE IN THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD,to be seen? You must be insane or worse corrupt.
    What will the outcome be in Geneva from this? Absofuckinglutely nothing for victims and a PR underlining victory for the Church that it is honoring the children's treaty NOW! Another victory for the church with the always available help of SNAP.
    If you do love the truth why not tell it then? All of it.
    What's the bigger story here Mr Journalist?
    A Church created and controlled group of 2 idiots speaking for millions of victims world wide? Or your little simpfest in Philly.
    Some reporter.

    1. My mission here is to cover local trials of significance.

      Your concern is some vendetta with SNAP that extends all the way to Geneva.

      Please keep us posted on the latest outrages.

    2. Does the cult of victimization now extend to the victims' groups who are victimizing the victims?

      Please advise.

    3. Stopping fraud is now my personal "vendetta"?
      As long as you"re mouthing the Church's hatred towards all us victims i.e. "cult of victimization". You've shown exactly who you are. and TRUTH has nothing to do with you. Basta!

    4. Cash those pay checks Ralph, while your still getting them from "The Beasley Group".

    5. You don't agree with a guy so you threaten the man job. You are sad and pathetic. These trial have been a joke the city court system is joke. The FBI is in the middle of investigating a PA supreme court Justice for interfering in Philly court cases while his wife was getting referral fees for those cases. All you see is the corrupt Catholic Church and refuse to see the much more corrupt city of Philadelphia that just killed 6 people with their corruption and then got their scape goat with heavy equipment operator. Yet you threaten the job of a reporter then give the facts and his opinion. PATHETIC

    6. How did I threaten the man's job? What control do I have over "the man's job"? This is not a newspaper. If the Beasleys want him, they are paying him for something , they can have him.
      I'm sad and pathetic? Sure. What does that make you, happy and admired? Good for you.
      I would have bought this scam if Ralph had shown sensitivity towards victims instead he pushes the Church's well paid for political line that victims aren't victims, that the real victim is the Church.
      A line that has nothing to do with whether your priests and teacher in Philly are guilty or not.

    7. Always the victim, aren't you Jim? What you fail to understand is that putting two men in jail for crimes that never happened does nothing for your cause, for truth or for justice. A junkie criminal posing as a victim does nothing for it either.

      When I think of the victims in this case, I think of a priest and a school teacher in jail for imaginary crimes dreamed up by a charlatan, and all the pain and needless suffering their families have gone through. If you weren't blind, you might see that too.

    8. I didn't put them in jail.
      Other victims didn't put them in jail.
      Quit blaming the victims for being the victims.
      Who else do you want us to be? The perpetrators?.....

      Yes, I actually believe that's just what you're after.

    9. You're right, Jim, I'm only here to persecute the victims. That's what this is all about. We set up this elaborate front of "covering" abuse trials to mask our true mission. Only you and Dennis and Sarah have been clever enough to sniff it out.

      Once again, you get to play the victim. Are you a victim when you run out of toothpaste?

    10. Why did you right the bullshit about victims in general???????
      You don't believe Doe. You don't believe Doe.
      Quit dragging the rest of us in when we've done nothing but tell you we were raped.
      I am not a victim, in shrink terms. I was victimized in real life and continue to be by the same people who did it the first place; and you and your "mob" here.
      I know I don't have to be here and take your crap.
      I'm not your victim I'm your active opposition that refuses to be made a victim by you.
      Get it? Got it? Good.

    11. I get it It's either I agree with you or I'm just a whiny "victim".
      Interesting logic.

  40. I found this in the legal Intelligencer dated 17 June "A Philadelphia judge has ruled there is no civil cause of action for endangering the welfare of a child, tossing the claim from nine sex-abuse suits filed against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and several Roman Catholic priests, clergymen and schools."
    I cant find it any place else and you need to be a member to read the story. Is this part of Billy boys lawsuit?

    1. Ralph, do you have access to this or know someone who does? I'd be very curious to see what this is about. What was the date of the sentencing and this was the 17th. Awwww Poor Billy won't get the money he was hoping for, after making up all of these lies and getting two innocent men sent to prison.

    2. Checking on this. The original case involved nine defendants, none of which were Billy Doe, although one defendant was dubbed John Doe. Checking whether this constitutes a precedent that would effect the Billy Doe civil case.

    3. I am told by lawyers in the case that this decision has nothing to do with the Billy Doe case and will have no impact on it. It won't even have an impact on the case it was issued in, involving the 9 defendants, because the decision doesn't throw them out of court, and the plaintiffs have many other claims to possibly collect on.

    4. And in the Billy Doe case, I am told the plaintiffs did not make a claim based on child endangerment. So nothing applies to the Billy Doe case.

    5. Thanks for checking. I just found the court ruling from 13 Jun 13
      It seem to me the judge slams them for using both grand Jury reports as their main evidence. Since it is not Billy Doe, They must be trying to piggyback of him. Suit filed last Sept

  41. Why does everyone keep responding to Jim and Dennis? I can honestly say I've stopped reading your post long ago. I usually get a sentence deep, just to see if your making a point, then skip to the next comment. It's unbearable! They'll never set aside their anger to see the truth. We get that your victims, and no one commenting is against the real victims. The fact that I have to explain this to you two is maddening. And I'm sure you'll come back at me with something oh so smart. Maybe I'll read it this time.

    1. I agree with the first part,( Axel do or don't respond. I don't care.) It's not about us individually as victims it's about a political line. In my case that's why I'm pissed, its that Ralph is pushing the corporate Church's political line about all victims.
      I still haven't decided if Billy's telling the truth. It's in the courts hands, it has nothing to do with us victims. It's all on Billy and the courts and believe me I get you are not happy. I support your not being happy about it. If you feel that way. So do something. I'll support you in that if I believe in it.I'll critique it; if I don't think you are right.
      What more do you want?

    2. This place is like Hyde Park Corner in London we all have our soapboxs and we all have our shpiel.

    3. The world according to Jim:

      The Church is out to get me.

      This blog is out to get me.

      SNAP is out to get me.

    4. Well you for sure, are out to get me. One down 3 to go.

  42. Another excellent article by Ralph, who has set the bar high for investigative reporting. We need to keep the spotlight on this story which is an embarrassment to the Philadelphia justice system. So, folks, continue to spread the word and provide a link to this site on your social media venues. The story won't go away, unfortunately for the assorted clowns and lowlifes listed in the article. And as Ralph says, all that matters is the truth. That truth is currently burning a hole in the slowly reawakening consciences of everyone from the jury members to the fine, upstanding legal representatives of the Philthadelphia justice system. And, of course, the "lying sack of sh**" himself, whose family must be proud of him.

  43. Ralph, excellent coverage. Thank you for digging into deep details rather than providing the hit & run coverage offered by the Inquirer.

    Can you provide any information on the appeals of Lynn, Shero, and Engelhardt?

    1. Monsignor Lynn's Superior Court Appeal Number is 2171 EDA 2012, it was filed last August, and it can be found on-line by searching here:

      Judge Sarmina was close to 6 months late providing the Superior Court with the trial records and her ‘opinion’. The Superior Court finally 'compelled' her to do so. According to the website record, a series of briefs and addenda were filed (delays, delays and more delays).

      The most recent comment stipulates that the Commonwealth has until June 25th to file their last brief after which - I assume - that the actual deliberations will take place and a decision will be rendered.

      I don’t believe that any appeal has been filed for either Father Englehardt or Mr. Shero at this time.

      The 'Wheels of Justice' are excruciatingly slow, especially for those who have been incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit.

    2. Thanks for the update, Joe.
      Forgive me if I missed it, but does anybody know where these innocent men are being detained? It would be nice to visit / write them to show support.

    3. Am told they're at Graterford, waiting to be shipped out to the state prison at SCI Laurel Highlands, at Somerton, PA.

  44. Thanks Ralph. Anybody have Dorothy Rabinowitz' e-mail address? Or know if she is aware of this miscarriage /

    1. Hi Justone.
      You can try sending a letter to the WSJ editor at the following e-mail address (just got it a few minutes ago):


      This is supposedly the 'Letters to the Editor' access vehicle. You can probably ask that your letter be forwarded to Dorothy.

      I'm going to write tonite.

  45. Justone - while you're at it, you might want to post a note on Danny Alvarez' Facebook page. He's the Republican running against Seth Williams this November.

    1. Forget Alvarez, he's hopeless.

      Remember the Washington Generals? Used to play the Harlem Globetrotters every night? Always lost?

      That's the Philadelphia Republicans. They know their job: go out every night and lose.

  46. Ralph: great article, one aspect that caught my eye. As described during the trial, when was the last time that a 5 hour long alleged rape & assault was reported to any legal authority, including the Philadelphia DA's office, in this case a priest was accused, and the philadelphia DA's office in this particular case took 10 days short of a year to commence an investigation by interviewing the alleged victim (in the presence of his parents mind you as Ralph states, a bit unusual investigative technique I might add) Add the accusation against the teacher of an assault the following school year, described as an hour long vicious assault with billy doe's school uniform being ripped off his body, belt around the neck, etc etc. Oh, that's right, BILY DOE testified, he doesn't remember, doesn't remember, doesn't remember, yes that's right because those assaults simply never happened.

    May the higher court ultimately see thru this deceitful prosecution and conviction and sentencing and free these men. Perhaps those higher court judges will have more of a unbiased conscience than was exhibited last week in that courtroom.

  47. The Judge must have been drinking thru out the whole trial to much beer from her husbands yards beer company.


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