PA- Convicted predators seek new trial, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A Pennsylvania priest and Catholic teacher, who were convicted of sexually abusing a child, are seeking a new trial. We hope they do not succeed.
Attorneys for Bernard Shero and Fr. Charles Engelhardt have filed for a new trail using a legal technicality by claiming prosecutor misconduct. It is a shame when child molesters and their attorneys try and exploit every possible legal loophole.
Engelhardt and Shero were found guilty of sexually assaulting a man when he was a child. During their initial trial Engelhardt and Shero tried to avoid justice by claiming the victim was not credible. We are glad their hurtful and malicious legal tactic did not work then and we hope it does not work now.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.