Five charged in Philadelphia Archdiocese child sex-abuse case
More than two months after their arrest, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office formally presented felony charges Friday against four current or former priests and a former parochial schoolteacher accused of raping two altar boys in the 1990s or enabling their abuse.
The five include the Rev. James J. Brennan and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, defrocked priest Edward V. Avery, and former teacher Bernard Shero. Brennan allegedly sexually assaulted a teenager in his apartment. The others are accused of sodomizing a 10-year-old at St. Jerome’s Parish in Northeast Philadelphia.
Msgr. William J. Lynn, who served as Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s secretary for clergy, is charged with child endangerment for recommending the assignments of known predatory priests.
Brennan did not attend the session, having waived arraignment. The others were present but did not speak. However, their lawyers voiced frustration that prosecutors had yet to give them all of the alleged victims’ testimony to the Philadelphia grand jury that recommended the charges against them.
Prosecutors said those materials would be made available before the next hearing.