Friday, March 9, 2018

A Prosecutor's 'Lost' Notes And The Pack Of Lies She Wrote

By Ralph Cipriano

On Jan. 28, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen and Detective Drew Snyder met behind closed doors at the D.A.'s office with Danny Gallagher, to hear for the first time his tearful tales of abuse.

Snyder had just bailed Gallagher out of Graterford Prison, where he was being held on a probation violation. Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," the lying, scheming altar boy, was a third-rate con man with a rap sheet that included a half-dozen arrests for retail theft and drugs, including one bust for possession with intent to distribute 56 bags of heroin. He was just a junkie hustler trying to figure out a way to stay out of jail, and maybe score some easy cash.

So Gallagher told his stories to the prosecutor and the detective. Eight years later, we know those stories were all lies. But eight years ago, the facts didn't matter because prosecutor Sorensen was an ideologue on a mission, out to get the Catholic Church at any cost. And Detective Snyder, who usually investigated insurance fraud, apparently was in over his head.

Behind closed doors, the third-rate conman peddled an improbable story about a helpless altar boy being passed around by three brazen rapists, who were all conspiring with each other. And a couple of chumps named Sorensen and Snyder bought one lie after another, without doing any investigating. When they got finished, Sorensen wrote eleven of Danny Gallagher's outright lies, and a dozen of her own, into the 2011 grand jury report that indicted three priests and a school teacher for rape, as well as a monsignor, for endangering the welfare of children.

As Sorensen noted in that grand jury report, "These are sordid, shocking acts." She could have been talking about the crimes she committed against truth.

Eight years later, why does all of this still matter?

Because the district attorney's office, under our new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, is planning to retry Msgr. William J. Lynn later this year on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, namely Gallagher.

Because one of the priests Gallagher sent to jail, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, died there, after he had been smeared and libeled by a grand jury report as a child rapist, and falsely imprisoned for crimes that never happened. The priest spent his last hours handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied a life-saving heart operation, and still protesting his innocence. His life and death ought to matter.

And finally, there's schoolteacher Bernard Shero, falsely accused of rape. A judge recently signed off on an unprecedented plea bargain that let Shero out of jail 11 1/2 years early because of prosecutorial misconduct. But Shero is still falsely labeled on Megan's List as a child rapist. It's a shame and a burden that he and and his family, who have already spent their life savings to get their son out of jail, more than $200,000, should no longer have to carry.

In a just society, Sorensen would bear the shame. She would lose her law license, and that grand jury report she wrote would be retracted. The D.A.'s office would drop its planned retrial of Msgr. Lynn; Father Engelhardt's reputation would be restored, along with a posthumous apology. And Bernie Shero would no longer have go through life falsely labeled as a child rapist.

In a just society, former Assistant District Attorney Sorensen would be arrested, and former D.A. Rufus Seth Williams would be dragged into court wearing his jumpsuit, so both of them could be prosecuted for filing a false instrument. That's the 2011 grand jury report, which we know now is a complete work of fiction. A work of fiction that's about to be destroyed today, along with the reputation of its author.

But this is Philadelphia, where they can put a district attorney in jail for taking bribes, but the crimes he committed against Lady Justice go on and on. That's because we have a criminal justice system that likes to pretend it's infallible. And because in this city, we appear to have an endless supply of prosecutors who love the headlines they get when they're going after the Catholic Church. Even though the current crusade is based on lies.

So attention Progressive Larry Krasner, this is what you just bought into. In seeking to retry Msgr. Lynn, for the sake of headlines, you just bought in its entirety that fraudulent 2011 grand jury report. You just bought Danny Gallagher as your fraudulent "victim" and star witness. And you just bought Mariana Sorensen as your sullied prosecutor, with all of her lies and supposedly non-existant notes that suddenly reappear after eight years. Notes that various members of the D.A.'s office at two criminal trials, and in front of three different judges, have repeatedly lied about by saying they didn't exist.

Today, we're going to dive into Sorensen's long-lost notes and examine eleven Danny Gallagher lies in those notes that Sorensen subsequently wrote into that 2011 grand jury report without doing any investigating. These are lies that were eventually exposed by the work of the D.A.'s own detectives, who blew up a false narrative. Then, of course, Sorensen wrote another lie into that grand jury report of her own making, and made up eleven more lies about the other alleged victim in the case, which we will cover as well.

Many of these topics have been previously and repeatedly exposed on this blog, but thanks to Progressive Larry Krasner, everything old is new again. And all of this will be relevant if the new reform D.A. decides to go through with any retrial of Msgr. Lynn.

And the defense responds by putting the D.A.'s office on trial. By calling former Detective Joe Walsh and former ADA Mariana Sorensen as its star witnesses.

Lie No. 1: Who Put Away The Wine After Mass.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "Father [Charles] Engelhardt was the first one to abuse Danny"when he was 10 years old, Sorensen wrote. "Right after mass, the priest caught Danny drinking the wine he was supposed to pour down the drain (the altar boys always liked drinking the wine)."

What Sorensen wrote in the Jan. 21, 2011 grand jury report: "While Billy was cleaning up in the church sacristy, Father Engelhardt caught him drinking some of the leftover wine. The priest did not scold the 10-year-old altar boy. Instead, he poured him more of the sacramental wine and began asking personal questions, such as whether he had a girlfriend" before the priest supposedly showed the boy pornography.

The truth: Almost a year after the grand jury report came out, on Jan. 9, 2012, Detective Joe Walsh interviewed Danny Gallagher's older brother, James, who not only served as an altar boy at the same church, but also served as a church volunteer known as a sexton. In a 14-page signed statement, James Gallagher told Walsh that it was a couple of sextons who put away the sacramental wine after mass, and not the altar boys.

"The sextons  would take care of the sacraments," the older brother told the detective. This was backed up in other interviews Walsh conducted with priests and nuns at St. Jerome's, the alleged site of the serial rape spree.

At the Engelhardt-Shero trial, the jury sent a note to the judge, asking why James Gallagher wasn't called as a witness. The answer, according to defense lawyers in the case, was that the prosecutors misled them about James Gallagher's availability as a witness, to dodge a subpoena sent through the mail. The end result, according to the defense lawyers -- the prosecutors were able to hide an exculpatory witness during trial. And that wasn't the only witness the prosecution hid.

But hey, at a retrial of Msgr. Lynn, why not recall the older brother, a lawyer, and put him on the spot by asking to explain again how he knew his younger brother was lying?

Lie No. 2: The Myth Of "Sessions."

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "I hear you had your sessions with Father Engelhardt," Father Edward Avery supposedly told poor little innocent Danny, while the priest had a smile on his face, and supposedly added,"You know what I'm talking about. I'll be talking to you soon."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: She had Father Engelhardt use the secret code word for sex abuse first, "He [Engelhardt] also told Billy that it was time for him to become a man and that 'sessions' with the priest would soon begin. With that enigmatic statement, Father Engelhardt let Billy go to school. At the time, the fifth grader did not understand what the priest meant . . ."

"A few months after the encounter with Father Englehardt, Billy was putting the bells away after choir practice when Father Edward Avery pulled him aside to say that he had heard about Father Engelhardt's sessions with Billy and that his sessions with the boy would soon begin. Billy pretended he did not know what Father Avery was talking about, but his stomach turned."

The truth: The two priests in question -- Father Charles Engelhardt and former priest Edward V. Avery -- went off to their jail cells telling their lawyers they had never used that word before and had no idea where it came from.

"He [Engelhardt] said that's a phrase that's been put in my mouth, it's been put in Avery's mouth," defense lawyer Michael J. McGovern remembered his client telling him. "That's a term I've never used,"the priest told his lawyer. Furthermore, "He [Engelhardt] has never heard a priest use that phrase,"McGovern said.

Avery was just as mystified, according to his lawyer, Michael E. Wallace. "I was with him 16 months and I never heard him use the term," Wallace said about sessions. "He didn't know what the hell he [Danny Gallagher] was talking about."

On Feb. 3, 2012, more than a year after the grand jury report, Detectives David Fisher and Drew Snyder interviewed Mark Besben, a counselor at SOAR, a drug and alcohol treatment facility, one of 23 such institutions that Billy had checked in and out of during his life as a drug addict. Besben told the detectives that he had begun seeing Danny Gallagher one on one sessions "instead of him being in group sessions."

So "sessions" was a drug counselor's term that Danny Gallagher borrowed when he invented his tales of abuse.

Lie No. 3: The Bell Choir.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "On Friday, when Danny did bell choir, Avery approached Danny as he was helping with bell choir . . ."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: Billy "also participated in the 'maintenance department' of the school's bell choir, meaning he took the bells out of their cases before choir practice and put them away at the end."

"A few months after the encounter with Father Englehardt, Billy was putting the bells away after choir practice when Father Edward Avery pulled him aside . . . "

The truth: At the trial of Father Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, three teachers from St. Jerome's, including the church's longtime music director, testified that only eighth grade boys were allowed to be members of the bell choir maintenance crew. Not only were fifth grade boys barred from serving on the maintenance crew, the teachers told the jury, but so were sixth and seventh grade boys.

It was the same story the three teachers had told Detective Joe Walsh, when he showed up at the school to investigate Danny Gallagher's cockamamie stories.

The reason why Danny Gallagher wasn't a member of the bell choir maintenance crew as a fifth-grader was simple: crew members had to set up 30-pound tables, along with the heavy bells, as well as carry bell cases that each weighed more than 30 pounds. Only the eighth grade boys were big and strong enough to do the job, the teachers said. As a 10 year-old fifth grader, Danny certainly wasn't up to it. According to his medical records, 10 year old Danny Gallagher weighed 63 pounds.

After the eighth grade boys in the maintenance crew set up the bell choir, they left the church, and did not hang around to put away the bells and tables, the teachers testified, another factual contradiction of Gallagher's tales. The choir would perform usually for an hour, and after they were done, choir members were responsible for putting away the bells. Not the maintenance crew, as Danny Gallagher claimed.

Shame of the city: our criminal D.A.
Unlike former ADA Sorensen and Detective Snyder, Detective Joe Walsh did some investigating; he went out and talked to the teachers at St. Jerome's, and then he showed their witness statements to Danny Gallagher.

"When confronted with this information, Gallagher could not provide an answer and remained quiet with his head down," Walsh wrote in a 12-page affidavit. "I told him that at the trial the judge would instruct him that he had to answer the lawyers' questions, that he just could not be able to not answer the questions."

"Gallagher remained silent and did not provide an answer," Walsh wrote. "I concluded all this information was a lie."

Lie No. 4: The books under Danny's bed.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "When Danny left the room, they [his parents] told me that something they could never understand was starting to make sense. They said that Danny is a hoarder, and that he kept things hidden around his room. They said one thing he kept for years under his bed was a book on sexual abuse. They thought that maybe he had taken it from the library of Christian Academy, where he finished high school after being kicked out of [Archbishop] Ryan. They said that they had asked Danny about it once when he was in high school, but that he had said the book was for a report he was doing."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "He [Danny] checked books out of the library about sexual abuse."

"It was at an inpatient drug treatment facility that Billy first told someone about his abuse. Billy's mother testified that she probably should have suspected something before then, because she found two books about sexual abuse hidden under Billy's bed, when he was in high school. She asked him about the books at the time, but he covered up for his abusers by telling her that he had them for a school assignment."

In fiction, this literary device is known as the omniscient narrator. In non-fiction, it's what we call a lie.

The truth: The two textbooks on sex abuse that Danny Gallagher kept under his bed were not taken out of the high school library by Gallagher. A detective did some brilliant detective work. He opened one of the books and discovered a library card inside that said the books had been borrowed from the Ogontz branch of the Philadelphia Free Library by Chanee Mahoney, another student at Christian Academy, the new high school that Gallagher had transferred to.

On Jan. 17, 2012, Detective Fisher interviewed Mahoney, then 24, who told him she had checked the books out of the library, and either put them in her locker, which was unlocked, or left them out on a table. About Danny Gallagher, who Mahoney said was always getting into trouble, "could have gone in the locker . . . I definitely did not give them to him." The implication from Mahoney was that Danny Gallagher had stolen the books.

Walsh subsequently confronted Danny Gallagher.

"I then showed him [Gallagher] the interview with Chanee Mahoney where she stated that she took the books out of the library for herself and left the books on a table and school, and they were stolen," Walsh wrote. "She stated that she definitely did not get the books out of the library for Gallagher."

"Gallagher then laughed and said yeah, he did take the books and he would use the books to crush pills on them," Walsh wrote. "When shown the books, he [Gallagher] pointed out small circle indentations in the cover of the book[s] showing where he crushed the pills."

Lie No. 5: Switching Masses

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "After his encounters with [Father Edward] Avery, he [Danny] would avoid seeing masses with Avery (he could do this by trading with other altar boys).

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "From then on, Billy avoided serving Mass with Father Avery by trading assignments with other altar boys. But, like many children who are sexually abused, he was too frightened and filled with self-blame to report what had been done to him."

Nice dramatic touches. What a novelist that Sorensen is!

The truth: When Detective Walsh interviewed James Gallagher, Danny Gallagher's older brother, he asked him as a former altar boy what he would have had to do to switch a mass. The older brother said switching a Mass wasn't as easy as Danny Gallagher made it sound.

"I would need a good reason for my parents -- If I wanted to switch with someone," James Gallagher told the detective. "Next I would have to get approval from Father Graham [the church pastor] and call the altar server you wanted to switch with."

When Detective Walsh questioned Danny Gallagher, he asked how the former altar boy could have known which priest was serving Mass because the schedule changed daily. The schedule of priests serving Mass, the priests and nuns at St. Jerome's told the detective, was posted only inside the rectory, where Gallagher wouldn't have access to it. Only priests had access to the Mass schedule.

When confronted by Walsh, Danny Gallagher had no answers.

Lie No. 6: Danny Gallagher was alone in the sacristy with Father Engelhardt.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "Right after Mass, the priest caught Danny drinking the wine . . . they were in the room where they get dressed. Engelhardt asked Danny to stay."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "Billy was a 10-year-old altar boy in the fifth grade at St Jerome School in Philadelphia . . . While alone with him in the sacristy, Father Charles Engelhardt began to show Billy pornographic magazines. Eventually, the priest directed Billy to take off his clothes . . ."

The truth: When Detective Walsh interviewed James Gallagher, Danny's older brother the lawyer, he
said there were two altar boys assigned to every Mass. In addition, two sextons were around before and after the altar boys showed up and left, and that it was one of the sextons who had the key to the church. So it was the sexton who was the first one there at the church to open the doors, and the last one to leave, after he locked up. Also, as opposed to what Danny Gallagher claimed, that the priest locked all doors to the sacristy before he raped poor little Danny, older brother James told the detective that the doors of the sacristy were always kept open during the Mass,  including one propped open with a door. One of those open doors in the sacristy led to the only bathroom in the tiny church.

When Detective Walsh talked to the priests and nuns at St. Jerome's they confirmed there were two sextons and usually a couple of other altar boys at each Mass; in addition, the pastor of the church, was usually hanging around the sacristy, so it was unlikely that the priest was ever alone with Danny, so he could supposedly rape him, as Danny Gallagher claimed. Also, the priests and nuns told the detective that he doors of the sacristy were kept open during Mass.

When Detective Walsh confronted Gallagher, he had no answers.

Lie No. 7: Danny Gallagher was alone with Father Avery after Mass.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "The next encounter with Avery occurred in the summer before sixth grade--near Danny's birthday (July 14)(he was turning 11). Danny had served a funeral Mass with Father Avery and Father Graham. Father Graham went to the burial . . . Avery sent the other altar servers home, but asked Danny to stay and help clean up. Avery said it was time for their next session . . . and it would be quick and feel good. They went into the same room [a supply closet] as before. Danny said that Avery had on this smile like he couldn't wait for it . . . Avery proceeded to tell Danny to strip and dance. Avery started to strip too . . ."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "Following an afternoon Mass . . . Billy was cleaning a chalice, Father Avery again directed the 10-year-old to strip for him. When Billy did as he was told, the priest fondled and fellated him . . ."

The truth: In his affidavit, Walsh explained that he asked Gallagher how he could claim that he was sexually abused by Father Avery after a funeral Mass in July 1999, when he was supposedly left alone with the priest. But the church register that listed all funeral Masses, as well as all the priests who served, showed that Avery had served at no funeral Mass that year. Another point raised by Walsh: according to the register, there were usually two priests serving at every funeral Mass.

In his affidavit, Walsh stated that he confronted Gallagher by showing him the church register.

"After a very long pause Gallagher then said there were two priests there who said the Mass. And that the other priest went to the cemetery and Fr. Avery remained at the church," Walsh wrote. "I then asked [Gallagher] where was the sexton, [an older man who was a church volunteer] who had to clean the altar and put the vestments away and put everything else away after Mass."

"When I questioned Gallagher about all these discrepancies, he just put his head down and did not answer me," Walsh wrote. "I asked him several times for an answer, but he would not answer me. I concluded Gallagher was not sexually abused by Fr. Avery."

Lie No. 8: Danny Gallagher got really sick after he was raped by the schoolteacher.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "A week or two later, he got really sick," Sorensen wrote about the aftermath of schoolteacher Bernard Shero raping him. "Missed school Lost 20 lbs. He had a bad cough, and at the end of each cough, he'd vomit. When he went back to school, Shero went back to the same demeanor, rubbing [Danny's] back, etc . . . Danny would walk away."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "In the sixth grade, when Shero raped and orally sodomized him, he went through an extended period when he would gag and vomit for no reason. His mother took him to doctors of both conditions, but there was never a diagnosis . . ."

The truth: In his closing statement to the jury in the Engelhardt-Shero trial, prosecutor Mark Cipollettti repeatedly said that after he was attacked by Shero, Danny Gallagher missed three and a half days of school. But when they pulled his report card for that marking period it showed zero absences. Also, Danny's medical records showed no drastic weight loss.

Lie No. 9: Father Engelhardt raped Danny Gallagher.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "Father Engelhardt was the first one to abuse Danny, and afterwards, the priest supposedly said, "That was a good session" and "You are dismissed."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "While alone with him in the sacristy, Father Charles Engelhardt began to show Billy pornographic magazines. Eventually the priest directed the boy to take off his clothes . . . After ejaculating on Billy, Father Engelhardt told him he was 'dismissed.' "

"After that, Billy was in effect passed around to Engelhardt's colleagues."

The truth: Danny Gallagher claimed that after he was raped by Father Engelhardt, he sat outside on the steps at St. Jerome's for an hour in the dead of winter, and waited for the school to open. But Detective Walsh knew from Danny's older brother that the parents typically drove both altar boys to and from the church.

"I asked [Danny] Gallagher to explain why his parents would permit him to walk approximately one mile from their house to the church carrying his cassock and school books at 6:00 a.m. in the dark, in December, when his older brother said he always got a ride to and from church when he served 6:15 a.m. Mass," Walsh wrote.

"I asked him [Danny] how his parents would permit him to sit outside school for about one hour after Mass waiting for school to open," Walsh wrote. "I told Gallagher I didn't believe his parents would permit him to walk to church at 6:00 a.m. and then remain outside school for about one hour."

"Gallagher didn't answer me," Walsh wrote. "He remained silent. I concluded he was lying that this occurred. I also concluded Gallagher was not sexually abused by Fr. Engelhardt."

Lie No. 10: Father Avery raped Danny Gallagher.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "Father Avery was the second adult to abuse Danny . . . Avery was 'quite forceful' and Danny thought he'd get in trouble if he didn't obey." Afterwards, the priest had Danny sit in his lap and he told the boy, "I'm proud of you," and, "You will be rewarded."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "After that [the Engelhardt attack], Billy was in effect passed around to Engelhardt's colleagues. Father Edward Avery undressed with the boy, told him that God loved him, had him engage in oral intercourse . . . The session ended when Father Avery ejaculated on Billy and told him to clean up. The priest told Billy that it had been a good
session, and they would have another again soon."

The truth: "When I questioned Gallagher about all these discrepancies," Detective Walsh wrote in his affidavit, "he just put his head down and did not answer me," Walsh wrote. "I asked him several times for an answer, but he would not answer me. I concluded Gallagher was not sexually abused by Fr. Avery."

Lie No. 11: Schoolteacher Shero raped Danny Gallagher.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: "Shero offered him a ride . . . Shero said: 'It's time for your sex education.' He starts to undo his own pants and tells Danny to undo his . . . After the sex is over, Shero's demeanor changes. He throws Danny's clothes at him and tells him he was very good. He then made Danny walk home. He says he'll see Danny in school." When Danny gets home, "he hopped in the shower, but felt like he couldn't get clean."

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "After that [Engelhardt attack], Billy was in effect passed around to Engelhardt's colleagues," she wrote. After Avery abused Billy, "Next was the turn of Bernard Shero, a teacher in the school," Sorensen wrote. "Shero offered Billy a ride home, but instead stopped at a park, told Billy they were 'going to have some fun,' took of the boy's clothes, orally and anally raped him, and then made him walk the rest of the way home."

The truth: Detective Walsh asked Gallagher about his alleged sexual assault by Shero, and Gallagher's original claims. Gallagher had previously told two social workers for the archdiocese, as well as to one of his drug counselors, that Shero had allegedly punched him in the face before he attempted to anally rape him.

Then, Gallagher claimed he was high on drugs and didn't remember what he told the social workers or the drug counselor.

But Walsh knew from his investigation that none of that was true. In his affidavit, Walsh related how he explained to Gallagher that he had interviewed a trio of witnesses -- the drug counselor, one of the social workers, as well as Gallagher's own father -- and that the three witnesses "all said he [Gallagher] was not high on drugs," the detective wrote.

"Gallagher didn't answer me," Walsh wrote. "He put his head down and refused to answer. I concluded that Gallagher was not sexually abused by Mr. Shero."

Lie No. 12: What Danny Gallagher's mother said about when her son's personality changed.

What Sorensen wrote in her notes: At age 14, Danny changed," Sorensen wrote, after questioning Gallagher's parents. "He got kicked out of High School. They [the parents] didn't know what had precipitated the change. They attributed his behavior to the death of his grandmother, and that they had allowed him to see her as she was dying [or her body after she died??]"

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: "Billy’s mother also told us of a dramatic change in her son’s personality that coincided with the abuse. His friends and their parents also noticed this personality change. Billy’s mother watched as her friendly, happy, sociable son turned into a lonely, sullen boy. He no longer played sports or socialized with his friends. He separated himself, and began to smoke marijuana at age 11. By the time Billy was in high school, he was abusing prescription painkillers, and eventually he graduated to heroin."

The truth: The personality change took place in high school, when he was 14. It did not happen back in grade school, at St. Jerome's, when Danny was 10 and 11 years old, and according to his mother's grand jury testimony, was either described as "either Dennis the Menace or the All-American boy." And according to Danny's parents, his personality change wasn't because of abuse, it was because Danny's grandmother died.
Nice rewrite job!

Lies 13-23: The other alleged victim in the 2011 grand jury indictment, Mark Bukowski, then 14, was anally raped by Father James J. Brennan back in 1996.

What Mark Bukowski told the grand jury: "I got into bed with him [Father Brennan] and . . . He began to hug me from behind . . . I felt his erect penis between my butt cheeks. My boxers were still on, however, I do not know if he had shorts on . . . I remember lastly thinking what the fuck happened tonight and crying myself to sleep with his penis still between my butt cheeks, saying to myself over and over again, why is this happening?"

Ok, we can all agree if the witness is telling the truth, none of this should have ever happened. But what does Sorensen do with this grand jury testimony? She throws gas on the fire by turning what Father Brennan's lawyer termed a "savage spooning" into an anal rape. While both the attacker and the victim, according to Bukowski's trial testimony, had their t-shirts on, as well as their boxer shorts.

What Sorensen wrote in the grand jury report: Father Brennan, who was now shirtless, insisted that Mark remove his gym shorts and climb into bed with him in only his underwear, which Mark did . . . When Father Brennan pulled Mark toward him, Mark felt Father Brennan’s erect penis enter his buttocks. Mark began to cry, and asked himself over and over again, “Why is this happening?” as Father Brennan anally raped him. Mark fell asleep that night with Father Brennan’s penis still in his buttocks."

Ten more times in the grand jury report, Sorensen wrote about a rape of Bukowski in the grand jury report, including: "That same summer, Brennan arranged for his sleepover with Mark, and sodomized him . . .  As a result of the rape . . At the time of the rape . . . In addition, the rape . . . Three years after the rape . . . Archdiocese officials . . . needlessly exposed an already scarred victim to further trauma by making the most private details of his life available to the man who raped him."

The truth: The grand jury report Sorensen wrote called for indicting Father Brennan and charging him with rape and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor. But when the trial began, the rape charge against Father Brennan was reduced to attempted rape, with no official explanation.

The jury hung on both charges against Father Brennan, and a mistrial was declared. The D.A. did not want to retry the case. In 2016, Father Brennan pleaded no contest to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of simple assault, and was placed on two years probation.

That grand jury report, as well as its lying author, is what Progressive Larry Krasner has just bought into. 
The fiction writer

At any retrial of Msgr. Lynn, his lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, will almost certainly call Mariana Sorensen as a witness. And she'll have to explain how her notes mysteriously reappeared after eight years, and how she and her fellow prosecutor, Evangelia Manos, lied to Judge Lillian Ransom about whether those notes existed. 

Then, Bergstrom can ask Soresen to explain all those lies she wrote into the grand jury report. That should do wonders for the prosecution's case.

And when it comes time to cross-examine Danny Gallagher, it could go on for days. First, Gallagher will have to explain all those lies he told the social workers and his drug counselor, crazy stories about being anally raped for five hours in the sacristy by the first priest who attacked him, being knocked unconscious and tied up with altar sashes by the second priest, and then being beaten by the schoolteacher, and strangled with a seatbelt. And then he'll have to explain how he dropped all those details from his stories and invented entirely new stories of abuse that were swallowed whole by the gullible Sorensen and Snyder.

Gallagher's medical records from those more than 20 drug clinics, hospitals and rehabs he was in and out of will also be in play. He'll have to explain year after year how he repeatedly lied to his doctors and drug counselors by previously and falsely accusing neighbors, other teachers and priests of rape. And then he'll have to explain how, at his civil deposition, when he was questioned for two days about all his lies, how the only way out for this scoundrel was to claim he didn't remember more than 130 times.

Finally, Gallagher will be asked about the $5 million he stole from the Catholic Church in a civil settlement, and the jury will finally see a motive for this junkie hustle.

The buck stops here.
Bergstrom also plans to call as his star witness, Detective Joe Walsh, formerly of the D.A.'s office, and the lead detective on the Danny Gallagher case.

Walsh will explain how he repeatedly told Sorensen that the evidence he was gathering proved that Danny Gallagher wasn't credible. And then Walsh willl testify that no matter what he said, Sorensen kept telling him that she still believed Danny, before finally saying, "You're killing my case."

So, Progressive Larry Krasner, when it comes to a retrial of Msgr. Lynn, the lies of Danny Gallagher and Mariana Sorensen will kill your case.

Unless you do the honorable thing and kill it first.


  1. Ralph:

    Do you know exactly how this information came out of the woodwork after all these years?

    Well, at least we know Sorenson has maintained her "typing skills" after all of these years of retirement.....she must have taken a refresher course after Seth went off to prison.....

    great job Ralph, keep up the good work...

  2. It certainly seemed to come from someone in the know. It will be interesting if more "missing" documents show up.

  3. DA Krasner has a better case bringing charges against Sorenson rather than further pursuing this old Witch Hunt. It would be a sterling example of the New DA righting the corruption and malfeasance of the Williams Cabal.

    Let's see if Sorenson could withstand the scrutiny of an examination of her obvious and perverted lifestyle.

  4. I believe I read somewhere that former ADA Sorensen left the DA's office for a position with the extremist anti-priest abuse group known as SNAP. I say extremist because they have never seen any allegation against a priest unworthy of prosecution regardless of its merits. My question is, if this is true, doesn't this relationship exhibit some semblance of a conflict of interest on her part? It would seem to me that ADA Sorensen's objective vision may have been obstructed by her animus toward the Catholic Church and her priests. No? By any chance Ralph, do you know if it is true that Sorensen had/has any affiliation with SNAP?

  5. Drop him a line:

    Register Number: 75926-066
    MORGANTOWN, WV 26501

  6. Ralph - thanks, again. This is one of your best articles. My sincerest congratulations.

    Could Krasner be pulling out all the stops to retry Monsignor Lynn for the express purpose of creating a judicial forum in which to implicate Seth, Sorensen, et al. in this travesty of justice? If so, even the deaf, dumb and (deliberately) blind Inky would have to follow it.

    This way, Krasner could identify himself as a stalwart proponent of genuine justice, perhaps positioning himself for higher political office later on.

    Maybe he'll also let Blessington (oxymoronic name for a prosecutor)take a badly needed hit.

    Krasner is no dummy.

    1. I have to agree with this theory, its too much of a coincidence that hidden information suddenly surfaces before a retrial. I'd like to think that Krasners office is feeding information to bigtrial, whereby bypassing the Inky, who has always worked for the prosecution.

      This all makes sense to me now, the defense will have all the facts that were hidden from them during the first trial, Ralphs hard work and these new revelations should make all the difference to the defense and the media.

      The Inky will be out as a source of information for the prosecution, this is going to hopefully be a learning experience for the Inky who may think twice before betraying innocents and siding with those that do not have to tell the truth or cab never be held accountable to anyone for their lies.

      Many an Inky article implores us to work together to achieve goals, I am suggesting they extend the olive branch to defendants instead of sitting in judgement.

      I could start the conversation for the Inky, it could begin like this, For years we have taken the word of the Justice Department, from men and women who are sworn to uphold justice,protect our citizens and above all following the law. It has come to our attention over the years, that many who either wear a uniform or prosecute crimes have been less than truthful with facts. Its been apparent for some time that blindly believing the prosecution has been detrimental for defendants, some who have paid with their lives and others their liberty, no longer can we convey the prosecutions facts, as much as it goes against the grain of our beliefs, as a free society we believe what that representatives of our government are truthful, its inconceivable to think that those that serve would put career and promotions over the lives of fellow countrymen.

      We as a paper will no longer condemn a defendant on the words of the prosecution,no matter how compelling their facts seem to be, we will cover a case accurately without prejudice to either side, we will no longer condemn a defendant before a trial or carry the prosecutions version after a trial.

      We will attempt to be fair to all parties,we are aware that we have lost credibility and endeavor to correct our past errors, we are acutely aware that our words have condemned innocents and influenced judges and jurors due to our stature and long running presence in the region.

      We apologize for our past inaccuracies and look forward to correcting the record on cases where we know we have erred. Sitting in judgement has never been our goal,truth honesty and protection are what we are striving to achieve, like the justice department we all have a long way to go to gain freedom for some and justice for all.

    2. I don't believe Krasner's office had anything to do with the reappearance of those notes.

  7. Only an idiot would step on and clean up somebody's shit on the floor and that is Kramer. Anybody else would have dimply dropped the case.

  8. No one at Inquirer ever responds to emails, but I took a shot and emailed Maria Panaritis on Friday, since she did a "story" back in October on James Brzyski - which for some reason reposted last Wed during the snowstorm.
    I figured that she had an interest in clergy cases and since her recent offerings were multiple articles about that hot topic - the PA Fish & Boat Commission - maybe and just maybe she would take a look into Ms Sorensen's "found" notes and the Fr Englehardt and Mr Shero cases. No response yet.
    Ralph - thank you for your continued information; our only source
    Cant get it our of my head "The priest spent his last hours handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied a life-saving heart operation, and still protesting his innocence."

  9. Admirable attempt, but you've got no chance. The Inquirer only sees the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal one way; innocent victims, rapacious priests. Everyone falls in line, from the reporters and columnists to the editors and the editorial writers.

    In the PC palace of the Inky, where social justice warriors are constantly on patrol for fresh outbreaks of racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. Catholic priests are already guilty.

    Would love to be wrong, but at the Inquirer, the suffering of the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, and his family, doesn't even register on the PC scale of social justice. It just doesn't matter. They have repeatedly demonstrated this over eight years.

  10. No independent thinkers at the Inky. They seem to have all been weeded out. Think The Simpsons, Principal Skinner and the independent thought alarm.

  11. It never goes off at the Inquirer.

  12. And certainly not at the desk of Maria Panaritis.

  13. Are there legal grounds or personal bias that preclude Smerconish and KlineSpecter from joining your campaign to expose the Injustice and Complicity of false prosecution and media bias in this historic case?
    How ironic that Tom Kline can endow Drexel Law School and attempt to emulate his mentor Jim Beasley with his name on the building he so generously donated, but conspicuously is on the sideline with respect to this case?
    Ralph, go to that Law School and share with the next generation of lawyers your great work and achievement.
    My suggestion to all interested parties is to petition Smerconish to bring Ralph on CNN and expose the case as he has relentlessly pursued for the past eight years.
    The Inquirer and Progressive Krasner could never handle the negative publicity and close examination of their lying agenda.
    Marimow and the sanctimonious and Sanctuary City DA should be exposed for the weasels that they are.
    # AttackFakeNews

    1. Kline/Spector firm was asked to consider this on behalf of Fr Engelhardt after Joe Walsh's startling testimony that resulted in Judge Bright's ruling of "prosecutorial misconduct"

      no money in it for them, because of statutory limits for the DA's office.....I believe they passed.....

      now Sorenson's alleged typed notes of that initial interview on "JANUARY 28TH 2010 with the lying drug addict, drug dealing thief Danny Gallagher (and his parents, Sheila and James Sr. also in attendance) mysteriously comes out of the woodwork, I believe this is now "2018".......

      perhaps there's one lawyer with a conscience in this city willing to pick up the fight for these innocent men to clear their money says there aren't any and that includes the defense lawyers who represented Fr Engelhardt and Bernard Shero during their trial.....I witnessed George Bocchetto in action during Shero's last hearing in Ceisler's courtroom in fall 2017 shortly before the DA abruptly made the deal to wipe 11 1/2 years off Shero's original 8 to 16 year sentence, he was the real deal....made Blessington look like a absolute fool and a liar

      that deal was made to avoid Ceisler reopening the case by granting Bernard Shero a new trial because of the DA's misconduct in withholding Joe Walsh's file...

      and now these notes appear......what next?

  14. Smerconish is an Inky columnist; don't see him leading any parade. Don't know why Kline would be interested either.

  15. KlineSpecterSmerconish don't want a legacy branded as ambulance chasing porn stars.

    That is a fair place to start.

  16. Unless the grand jury system is changed, prosecutors will continue to lie to gain indictments.

    Is it possible for the grand jury in this case, who would now know that Sorensen lied to them have any recourse as to changing the outcome of their vote, as they possibly would not have indicted in the Lynn case.

    Can they be recalled ?

  17. Can the Inky be accused of having a conflict of interest when reporting on"crime" articles, the prosecutions "stories" sell papers, how could they be impartial when people buy the papers to read what the prosecution is saying,especially high profile cases involving politicians, elected officials or the clergy,those articles help to pay the bills and keeps the lights on at 801 Market. They have an allegiance to the prosecution. Why would we believe what they are saying, as the news is slanted to favor the prosecution.

  18. If the defense has this bombshell new evidence from the prosecutor's "lost" notes, why haven't they filed a motion about it?

  19. Good question. I'm sure we'll be hearing about it down the road.

    1. Amazing how this information has now been "discovered" after Bernard Shero's new attorney negotiated his release some 11 1/2 years early.....Ralph, you were in those same courtrooms and heard those prosecutors deny time after time on the record that there was no more discovery, nothing else to provide to those defense lawyers.....heard a recently retired ADA Gallagher stand up at the beginning of Shero's and Engelhardt's trial and state emphatically to Ceisler that there was no file, no notes in the DA's office relevant to their case...Oh guess he must have forgot to ask his ADA Sorenson about the exculpatory evidence the defense was entitled to to defend their clients

      ..One might wonder what else might have fallen thru the cracks while Seth was running the asylum.....

      they all should go to jail, every last one of them for what they did to those innocent men....

    2. What about the fact that there was another social worker who they interviewed but never told the defense. Ralph, didn't you say that was another incidence of prosecutorial misconduct!! She would have corroborated the information from the first social worker!!!

    3. I believe her attorney would not let her testify. I am not sure that the defense knew the DA talked to her till after the trial was over. One of the defense attorneys want to confirm this?

  20. Have you heard anything from the Catholic Church, or have any idea what could happen, since the Church now has proof they were defrauded by the prosecution? Can they recoup their funds ?

  21. It is becoming clear that you Ralph, have picked the wrong cause celebre in your advocacy for the falsely accused.

    Progressive Da Krasner will support the release of a career urban terrorist Meek Mill, and ignore the obviously corrupted prosecution of the Clergy.

    How can justice be so out of sync when a DA can violate a Judge's sentence in the case of a violent rapper criminal and ignore the rights of Clergy unless the bigger issue is to subvert moral and legal authority by the Bolshevik Press and Justice System.

  22. The second social worker, who is not a "certified" social worker, her title was victim assistance coordinator (VAC) at the time, worked previously in the DA office, has a history with Seth, and is the wife of a Philly Police Officer. She is now an Assistant or Associate Director of Victim Assistance and now supervises the VACs. She bragged about an after work hours meeting in the DAs office, and that she was "told" she had nothing to add. Where are those notes?

  23. If we're talking about Judy Cruz-Ransom, I believe those notes exist. She had an interview with two prosecutors, where she completely backed up Louise Hagner's story. She was the first social worker on the Danny Gallagher case.

    The two women told the same story: Gallagher got in the car, was completely sober, and while faking tears, told wild and crazy stories of abuse. Stories he later claimed he didn't remember, because he was high on drugs.

    Then, our virtuous DA's office hid Cruz-Ransom as a witness during trial, lied about what she said, and spent a nice chunk of the trial and a big part of their closing statement attacking Hagner's testimony, and painting her as a liar.

    Even though they knew they had interviewed, and were hiding at trial, a second corroborating witness who would have said Hagner was telling the truth.

    That's how, if you're a prosecutor, you can lie, cheat and steal, send innocent men to jail, and get away with it.

    1. Was a deal made; don't touch the higher ups in the clergy or friends of Seth and they will look away as others are thrown under the bus, destroyed, or allowed to die in prison.

  24. As the realization is emerging that companies like Cambridge Analytica were able to harvest 50 million Face Book users personal info to influence an election, praying on their fears and biases, we can see how using false information is used to undermining democracy here and around the world.

    If the Inquirer is not up to the task of correcting fraudulent statements made by Marina Sorensen to incriminate innocent citizens, they should be investigated, their sources exposed and made to apologize for the harm the have done in hampering a fair trial for the defendants.

    Using the media to influence a jury is the same as using less than accurate information to influence an election.

    Admitting that the information was misleading and detrimental to the defendants needs to be disclosed now. Gallagher, Sorensen and Williams did not care about justice, but the Inquirer should care and should be held accountable for their part in the deception.

  25. Inquirer at it again. Front page news that Bishop Cistone's office/home were raided - yet crickets about DAs commiting perjury costing Fr Charles Englehardt his life and Bernard Shero his freedom
    No anti-Catholic bias there...

  26. We may be handling this all wrong ,instead of trying to get the Inky to decide if this revelation of inventing crimes and lying to a grand jury is even newsworthy,we should just enlist some teenagers or get Stormy Daniels to tell the nation or add a Russian angle, we may get more traction that way.

    We could all die of old age waiting for them to pick this up, while everyday our freedoms are eroded by people who profess to lecture to us about justice.


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