The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 16
Accused predator priest worked in Delaware
SNAP suspects others from PA likely have too
Last week, he was charged with molesting in Philadelphia
But he also held top jobs at prominent Wilmington boys’ school
As recently as 2007, he was also working at a Delware Catholic parish
Support group urges any victims to come forward to protect kids & get help
SNAP to bishop “Don’t sit back; Actively seek out others who may have been hurt”
A Catholic priest charged with molesting a boy last week in Philadelphia also worked in Delaware. A self-help group for victims is urging Wilmington church officials to seek out and offer help to anyone the cleric may have molested here. The organization suspects that others named in two scathing Philadelphia grand juries also likely spent time in Delaware and molested kids there, either on or off the job.
Last Thursday, Fr. Charles F. Engelhardt was criminally indicted for sex crimes against a 10-year-old boy. His alleged crimes were also described in a lengthy new grand jury report that was released by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
“Twelve years ago, the report says, Engelhardt began to show pornography to a ten year old boy, and then molested him,” said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Wilmington Catholic officials should be aggressively spreading the word about the allegations against Engelhardt and begging those with information to contact law enforcement and get help.”
Eventually, the grand jury found, the boy was, in effect, passed around to two of Engelhardt’s colleagues - another priest and a lay teacher – who also assaulted him. All three of the alleged predators were criminally charged last week.
Delaware SNAP leader Judy Miller worries that there may be more victims of Engelhardt- or other Pennsylvania pedophile priests - in Delaware.
“Child predators virtually never strike just once,” said Miller. “And it often takes decades before victims realize how severely they’ve been hurt and how likely it is that their perpetrator is still assaulting kids.”
While Engelhardt primarily worked in the Philadelphia area, Miller notes that he was first assigned to Salesianum School, a Catholic high school for boys in Wilmington, Del., run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Engelhardt was dean of students and an assistant principal at Salesianum. “We are also gravely concerned for children Philadelphia and Delaware, where Engelhardt was assigned as recently at 2007,” Miller said.
“SNAP urges anyone who suffered, saw or suspected sex crimes against children perpetrated by Fr. Engelhardt or anyone to report the information to law enforcement, NOT to church officials,” said Clohessy.
Both Miller and Clohessy are calling on Delaware Catholic officials to post notices in parish bulletins, on parish websites, in the diocesan newspaper urging victims witnesses & whistleblowers to call police.
“We want to help law enforcement successfully prosecute this dangerous man,” Clohessy said.
They also want Wilmington Bishop Francis Malloly to personally visit each Delaware location where Engelhardt worked, spreading the same message.
Assignment History of Fr. Charles F. Engelhardt, Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests