Wednesday, February 19, 2020

D.A. Won't 'Re-Traumatize' Billy Doe By Calling Him As A Witness

D.A. Krasner: perverter of justice
By Ralph Cipriano

In a new low for the district attorney's office -- in a case that's full of them -- D.A. Larry Krasner today sent his top assistant out to  threaten a judge into allowing him to stage a show trial alleging sex abuse against the Catholic Church, without having to put an alleged victim of abuse on the witness stand.

The problem for Krasner is that the alleged victim in this case, Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," has been repeatedly revealed to be a fraud. And if Gallagher does take the stand, defense lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn will call as their star witness, Joseph Walsh, the D.A.'s former lead detective in the case. Walsh will testify that after he caught Gallagher telling one lie after another in a pretrial prep session, the former altar boy flat-out admitted to the detective that he had made up his most outrageous allegations of abuse.

So in Common Pleas Court today, Krasner's top lieutenant, First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee Jr., showed up to try and browbeat Judge Gwendolyn Bright into amending her order requiring the D.A.'s office to subpoena Gallagher for the March 16th scheduled retrial of Msgr. Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy.

Listenbee's pitch to the judge was that he supposedly was an expert on trauma, and that the D.A.'s office has an "internal policy" of not "re-traumatizing" victims of sex abuse by summoning them to testify in court.

In response the judge said she had presided over "hundreds of cases" involving sex abuse, and if the D.A. had his way with his anti-trauma policy, none of those cases would have ever gone to trial.

The judge bluntly told Listenbee that she would not reconsider her Jan. 31 order requiring Gallagher to be in the courtroom under subpoena.

"Yes, I believe that the named victim should be present" in the courtroom, the judge said, referring to Gallagher. But she said she has not made a decision yet on whether she will allow the prosecution to retry the Lynn case without having to call Gallagher to the witness stand.

"We'll see what evidence you put on," the judge told Listenbee, adding "I made no determination" on whether the case against Msgr. Lynn can be retried without a victim.

Lynn is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, Gallagher, by exposing him to Edward Avery, a priest who had previously been credibly accused of abuse. The monsignor's conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child has twice been overturned on appeal. Along the way, Lynn has served 33 months of his 36-month sentence, plus 18 months of house arrest.

So a retrial in the case basically amounts to piling on for the sake of headlines, as the defendant has already done his time.

In her angry remarks to Listenbee, Judge Bright accused him of attempting to influence her to change her order on Gallagher by using a "veiled threat," namely that if she didn't amend her order on the subpoena of Gallagher, the D.A.'s office would file yet another appeal in the case.

Such a "veiled threat" is "inappropriate," the judge lectured Listenbee, and she added that no such threats should ever be included in any motion to any judge.

The veiled threat, the judge claimed, was made in a pretrial motion that the D.A. has filed in the case. The  problem is that the judge has forced lawyers on both sides in the case to file all of their motions under seal. The end result of this misguided policy is that the public has no idea what's going on. And the D.A.'s office, which has a shameful history of prosecutorial misconduct in this case, continues to pull one stunt after another, under cover of darkness granted by the judge.

The prosecutorial misconduct in this case includes filing a grand jury report riddled with more than 20 factual mistakes, as well as hiding witnesses and documents that would have benefitted the defendant. At the original trial, the D.A.'s office also strong-arming a co-defendant of Lynn's into pleading guilty at the last moment to crimes that he later testified in court that he didn't do.

In the retrial, the judge also has a nonsensical gag order on the lawyers in the case, which forbids them from talking to the media.

While they don't plan to call Gallagher as a witness, the D.A.'s office today said they do intend to call Avery as a witness. The former priest took a plea bargain on the eve of the first trial of Msgr. Lynn back in 2012; he plead guilty to abusing Gallagher back when he was a 10 year-old altar boy.

At the time of the first Lynn trial, Avery, then 70 years old, was facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years. And the prosecution offered a sweetheart deal -- only 2 1/2 to 5 years in jail. So on March 22, 2012, Avery pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child -- the alleged victim of both crimes was Danny Gallagher -- "to avoid a more lengthy prison term," Avery subsequently testified at a second archdiocese sex abuse trial brought against Father Charles Engelhardt and former Catholic schoolteacher Bernard Shero.

The reason he agreed to plead guilty to something he didn't do, Avery testified at the Engelhardt-Shero trial, was because "I did not want to die in prison."

At his guilty plea, neither the prosecutors nor the judge asked Avery if he had actually done either of the crimes he was accused of doing. That's because according to Mike Wallace, Avery's lawyer, he had forewarned the prosecutors that if they actually asked Avery if he was guilty of abusing Gallagher, he would have told them he didn't do it.

How's that for justice?

The D.A.'s office, which doesn't plan to call Gallagher, does plan to call as witnesses a trio of altar servers who testified during the Engelhardt-Shero trial that Danny Gallagher allegedly underwent a personality change after he was allegedly abused in grade school. His mother, however, told a grand jury that her son's personality change took place in high school, not in grade school, and it happened after he got involved with drugs.

It would be quite a travesty of justice if Judge Bright allows the D.A.'s office to bring in evidence regarding Gallagher through Avery and the altar servers. It will also be a travesty if the judge allows the D.A. to get away with not having to call Gallagher as a witness, where he would have to face cross-examination.

But judging by the nine year history of this case, it appears to only move in one direction -- lower, and lower still.


  1. The prosecution seems to have an extremely weak case if their best witness, Avery, says he never abused Danny Gallagher.

    It seems like the trial will be a farce if the prosecution bases their case on alleged abuse of Gallagher but he doesn't testify. That seems like a violation of a defendant's 6th amendment right to face their accuser. The judge should just dismiss the charges if the DA refuses to subpoena Gallagher.

  2. Amazingly, the Inquirer actually showed up to report on this case. Here's their story:

    Notice, they're still covering for Danny Gallagher. They don't even mention retired Detective Joe Walsh's devastating testimony about what a liar Gallagher is.

    But half of life is just showing up. As we have previously seen, the Inquirer only sees sex abuse cases involving the Catholic Church one way; innocent victims and predator priests.

    They also have a policy of covering for fellow progressive Larry Krasner. So this kid glove coverage is the best they could do. Of course they didn't report that the judge upbraided the D.A.'s office for sending her a "veiled threat."

    Have to cover for Krasner. What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

    1. If you could identify one Inky Whistleblower to perform as you did when taking on the bias and contempt for "journalism' and sue for damages this lame excuse for a Newspaper may finally be put down.

      We know that McClatchy and other chains are near financial bankruptcy and as you have shown heroically over the years, they have been a poisoned well as well.

      KEEP FIGHTING, that Pulitzer will be yours one day.

  3. Dumb and dumber DA we have ever had. Anybody else with that kind of case that screams "red flags!" would want to deep six the case and save their professional reputation. Only a deviant idiot would want to bring such a shit bag of a case with totally unreliable witnesses

    If I were Bergstrom, I would be filing an emergency motion to the Presiding Judge seeking the immediate removal of Judge Bright and her replacement with an experience male judge who would handle the case the way it should be handled without showing a bias for the DA like Sarmina and Ceisler (females!).

    Both Krasner and Blessington should be removed from the practice of law by the Bas Association.

    Time to permanently put the case to rest by dropping the charges levied against Lynn. Unless it is proven the Archdiocese is in cahoots with Monsignor Lynn and the DA to keep running the years long sham trial in order to show potential victims how they would fare in a court battle.

  4. Thanks for the update Ralph
    And from the Inquirer - crickets.....
    Continues to amaze how Krasner (and now Shapiro) masquerades around pontificating for those wrongly convicted - but dont even look within their offices for the sham job done on Fr Englehardt and Mr Shero. Pathetic.

    1. No, the Inky showed up. In my comments I cover what they missed as it happened right under their nose.

    2. Sorry for my error, but as you point out, it is if they were at a different hearing or not even there. Talk about twisting a story.

  5. The judge publicly upbraids the DA's office for a "veiled threat" against her, it happens right under the Inky reporter's nose, in open court, and they won't report a judge blasting Krasner.

    That's what I call in the bag.

    1. There is only one truth, its the prosecutions. How much pressure can there be to succeed at the DOJ that prosecutors have to invent crimes and force defendants to confess to a crime that never happened to get a promotion? How do they prostitute themselves to get a conviction?

      Citizens should be able to demand the truth from DOJ employees, from a police officer to the Attorney General of the United States. We need a registry of prosecutors that lie to stop this abuse of innocents.

      Can the defense accuse the prosecution of lying, of making up a crime, and place the lies squarely on Seth Williams who initiated this trial?

      A thirty year old man, should be able to relate to the jury in his own words the abuse he suffered as a child. His appearance though could possibly kill Sorensens case. Can her lost notes be part of the new trial? Can she be called to testify?

      Can Shero be called to tell his side? Are there additional people that have anything more to add to this case since last trial,besides Walsh?

      No defendant should be forced to plead guilty for less jail time or fearful that the jury thinks they are guilty because they read it in the Inky.

  6. Inky journalist can not go against what has already been reported, imagine if a reporter contradicted the story line held up by the Inky as facts. Even if the reporters do come back to the Inky newsroom with their notebooks bursting with courtroom events, it has to be checked against the version given to them by the prosecution.

    I do not expect to read the truth when it come to the criminal justice departments retelling of events. The prosecution invents a crime that they believe the public will be easily able to digest. Months and even years before a high profile case the Inky warms up the jury with negative and misleading articles.

    During the Traffic Court trial the outrageous antics of the prosecution should have made front page headlines. The region should have read: FBI Agent gets caught lying on multiple occasions or prosecutor is caught removing a ticket from a jacket to the horror of courtroom.

    We were treated to the prosecutions fairy tales each and everyday in the Inky. Too bad, since the truth matters now more than ever.

  7. Ralph, thank you for your outstanding coverage. Is the trial still scheduled to start March 16th? Thanks again

  8. Is there someone at the DA’s office whom I could contact about the reasons for the scheduled retrial or Monsignor William Lynn? I am an interested Philadelphia citizen, who wonders why after his serving 33months of a 36 month minimum sentence, and spending 16 months under house arrest in between his two time periods, we are going to all the expense and work of a trial for the sake of 3 months in prison not yet served. I would like to understand the DA Office’s reasoning, because it is my understanding that he himself is not even accused of having sexually abused someone. Can you give me a name and contact information of someone who would be willing to contact me. I would think that D.A. Krasner would want to let him reenter society.


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