PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Monsignor William Lynn did not say a word on his way out of court, walking quietly by the media gathered outside the Criminal Justice Center. Father James Brennan did the same thing when he left the hearing.
But lay teacher Bernard Shero tried to run away, throwing his jacket at Eyewitness News cameras, jogging across the street, and running into a garage.
These men and the other defendants in a church sex abuse scandal and cover up will head straight to trial after the judge’s rulings Friday afternoon.
The judge decided there is no need for a preliminary hearing and the cases can go to trial based on the evidence in the grand jury report.
The judge also granted conspiracy charges against the defendants in addition to sex abuse and cover up charges.
And the judge issued a gag order in this case, silencing the District Attorney’s office, the defendants and their attorneys, at least until trial.
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Abuse victim advocates outside the courthouse say the upcoming trial will be a step towards justice for victims who have been silent so long.
“We need to let the Archdiocese know that their behavior over the last 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years will not be tolerated by victims, by Catholics, or by the community,” said Joelle Casteix, regional director for the Survivors Network
of those Abused by Priests.
Lawyers for defendants like Father Charles Englehardt say moving to trial robs them of a chance to look at evidence. But they insist their clients will be found not guilty.
The next time these defendants are seen in court, it will be for their arraignment, scheduled for April 15.
The judge also ruled Father Brennan will have to reimburse the courts $1,530 after he claimed he did not have money, took a court appointed attorney, then hired his own attorney.
Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3