Guilty Former Priest a Focus of Child-Abuse Trial - Philly.com
Edward Avery might be gone from the defense table at the landmark clergy-sex-abuse trial involving Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, but he remains a pivotal figure in the case.
On Monday, prosecutors and defense lawyers clashed over what jurors could and should be told about Avery, a defrocked priest who was removed as a defendant last month after his last-minute plea to charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina suggested that jurors could even hear from Avery himself.
The issue emerged as prosecutors signaled plans to call to the witness stand this week a former altar boy who said he was abused in the late 1990s by Avery and another priest, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, when both were at St. Jerome’s Church in Northeast Philadelphia. Engelhardt faces a separate trial later this year because he belongs to an independent religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales