Witness: After rape by teacher ‘I had to go’ to school


Witness: After rape by teacher ‘I had to go’ to school

Joseph A. Slobodzian, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 3:42 PM

From the link: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130116_Witness__After_rape_by_teacher_I_had_to_go_to_school.html

The defense lawyer for former parochial schoolteacher Bernard Shero today began trying to chip away at the credibility of a 24-year-old Northeast man who says he was sexually assaulted by Shero and two priests when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

The witness – The Inquirer does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault – testified Tuesday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court that the serial sexual assaults by Shero and two priests destroyed his childhood and led to his life as a drug addict.

But defense attorney Burton A. Rose, showing the jury blow-ups of the man’s report cards from 5th through 8th grades at St. Jerome’s, noted that his grades and attendance barely changed during the time of the alleged assaults in 1998 and 1999.

“So you went to school the next day after this man [Shero] anally raped you in the back of his car?” Rose asked.

“It was school, I had to go,” replied the witness, who was identified as “Billy Doe” in the 2011 county grand jury report.

Rose has argued that Shero never assaulted the witness – or caused his later problems with drugs and the law.

The witness maintained that he was afraid to tell anyone about the assaults by the two priests in the sacristy of St. Jerome’s church, or the assault by Shero, who was his homeroom and English teacher.

Shero, 49, and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 66, are on trial for the alleged assaults on Billy when he was in fifth and sixth grades at St. Jerome’s.

The other priest, Edward Avery, now 70, pleaded guilty last year shortly before he was to go on trial with two other priests in the investigation of clergy sex abuse of children in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Avery, now defrocked and serving a 2-1/2 to five years in prison and may be called by prosecutors to testify in the trial of Shero and Engelhardt.

The pair are the last two of five people charged as a result of the 2011 county grand jury report.

Last year’s landmark three-month trial ended June 22 when the jury found Msgr. William J. Lynn guilty of child endangerment, the first church administrator convicted for a priest’s sexual abuse of a child.

Lynn, 62, who as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004 was responsible for investigating allegations against priests, was sentenced to 3 to 6 years. He is in a state prison and appealing his conviction.

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About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on January 16, 2013, in Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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