They may have escaped criminal prosecution, but according to a memorandum of law filed Monday in Common Pleas Court, Bishops Edward P. Cullen and Joseph R. Cistone can expect to be named as defendants in an ongoing civil case against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia regarding the sexual abuse of a former 10-year-old altar boy.
Attorney Slade H. McLaughlin filed the memorandum of law while representing "Billy Doe" in the civil case of Billy Doe V. the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Doe is the pseudonym for the former altar boy sexually abused by Father Edward V. Avery, who pleaded guilty on March 22 to involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor, and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in prison. Avery's abuse of Billy Doe also resulted in the June 22 conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn is now serving a prison term of three to six years.
The former altar boy allegedly was passed from one abuser to another at St. Jerome's parish. On Sept. 4, two more alleged abusers of Billy Doe -- Charles Engelhardt, a former priest, and Bernard Shero, a former archdiocese school teacher -- are scheduled to go on trial before Judge M. Teresa Sarmina at the Criminal Justice Center.
Engelhardt and Shero were originally supposed to be tried back in March with Father Avery and Father James J. Brennan, before they were severed from the case, at their request. In the criminal case, lawyers for Engelhardt h...