Philadelphia District Attorney Charges Priests, Teacher in Assaults

On February 10, 2011, a Philadelphia Grand Jury released a report and a presentment following an investigation into allegations that two priests and a teacher sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia, and that another priest assigned to St. Jerome sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy.The presentment recommended criminal charges, including for rape and indecent sexual assault, against the three priests, Edward Avery, Charles Engelhardt, and James Brennan; and the teacher, Bernard Shero. The  rand Jury also recommended charging Monsignor William J. Lynn, the Secretary for Clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.From 1992 until 2004, Msgr. Lynn was responsible for investigating reports that priests had sexually abused children and for recommending appropriate action to ensure that priests could not reoffend. The Grand Jury found that Msgr. Lynn endangered children, including the victims in these most recent cases, by knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in ministry.

The Grand Jury also issued a report that summarizes its investigation and findings. The report recommended that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia overhaul its procedures for assisting victims and for removing from ministry priests accused of molesting minors. The Grand Jury encouraged victims to report their abuse first to law enforcement.

The Final Presentment and the Grand Jury Report are available below:
Final Presentment | Final Grand Jury Report

The Grand Jury Report published in 2005 regarding the investigation of sexual abuse by clergy is available at the link below: