US ex-altar boy abused by priests

2012-04-26 21:13

Philadelphia - A 23-year-old man testified in the child sex abuse case against the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese that he was molested by two priests, one of whom prosecutors said had been known to church officials as a sex abuser years earlier.

The testimony on Wednesday came at the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of the clergy, who is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy over accusations he covered up abuse allegations against priests, many of whom were simply transferred to unsuspecting parishes.

The case has put a spotlight on the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the nation's sixth largest with 1.5 million adherents, and experts say has likely caught the eye of the Vatican, given Lynn's rank as the highest US church official to go to trial in the abuse scandal.

Lynn faces the possibility of 28 years in prison if convicted.

The witness testified that in 1998 when he was 10 years old and serving as an altar boy, he was abused by Rev Charles Engelhardt and Edward Avery, who is no longer a priest, at St Jerome's in northeast Philadelphia.

Avery ordered him to do a strip tease in a church storage room, he testified.

"I was swaying back and forth and took off my clothes," he said before detailing sex acts that he said Avery demanded.

He said that before the abuse incidents: "I was happy. I was outgoing, a people person." In the years that followed, he said he battled drug abuse and as a teenager attempted suicide.

Boy's genitals

Prosecutors said the Archdiocese knew seven years earlier that Avery had abused someone else and not only did nothing but transferred him to St Jerome's.

Avery pleaded guilty and is serving up to five years in prison for sex crimes, while Engelhardt awaits a separate trial on sex abuse charges.

Prosecutors also read several memos to the jury that Lynn had written about allegations of sexual misbehaviour by Francis Giliberti, a monsignor in Media, Pennsylvania, in the late 1970s.

The memos described Giliberti watching boys masturbate and, in one incident, inspecting a boy's genitals. He was removed from the ministry in 2004 and has never been criminally charged.

The prosecutors sought to use the memos to bolster their case that Lynn did nothing about complaints against Giliberti.

"It shows how outrageous his activity and inactivity was," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  us  |  child abuse
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.