By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The verdict is guilty for a 66-year-old priest and a 49-year-old former Catholic school lay teacher in the sexual molestation of a then 10-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome’s Parish back in 1998 and 1999.
Both men were led from the courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center and taken into custody on Wednesday. They will be sentenced March 18th, 2013. (see related story)
The trial of Father Charles Engelhardt, an oblate of St. Francis DeSales, and Bernard Shero culminated a two year legal process that began with a 2011 grand jury report detailing abuse of children at the hands of priests and a cover-up by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
This case turned on the story of one victim, now 24 years of age, who testified that in 2009, he reported being abused as a child to the Archdiocese. The victim, known as “Billy Doe,” said he was passed from one priest to another and then to a lay teacher in what District Attorney Seth Williams called “heinous crimes.”
Engelhardt faces a maximum sentence of 37 years in prison, and Shero faces a maximum of 57 years.