Court Upholds Sentences of Priest and Lay Teacher for Sexual Abuse of Altar Boy

Click here to read: “Prison sentences upheld for priest and lay teacher in sexual assault of altar boy,” by Matt Gelb, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2015

Excerpt:

A state Superior Court panel upheld this week the prison sentences of a Catholic priest and former parochial-school teacher convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy from Northeast Philadelphia.

The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, a former St. Jerome teacher, were sentenced by a Common Pleas Court judge in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s.

Second Mistrial for Father McCormick

Click here to read: “Jury again unable to reach verdict in Phila. priest’s sex-abuse trial,” by Joseph A. Slobodzian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2015

Excerpt:

“This time, McCormick did not testify in his defense. That prevented him from denying the allegations, as he did the first time.

But it also prevented the prosecution from questioning McCormick – as it did in the first trial – about his two church reprimands for allowing boys into his private rooms.

McCormick also admitted in the first trial that he was among priests investigated in 2004 by a Philadelphia grand jury for questionable conduct with minors.”

Bail Decision Reversed for Father Haynes

Click here to read: “Bail denied for Catholic priest charged with child porn,” by Jeremy Roebuck, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 4, 2015

Excerpt: “The mounting allegations against Mark Haynes prompted U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel to reverse a lower court’s decision releasing the priest. Stengel said the allegations, if true, establish a “consistent pattern of predatory conduct toward minor children.”

Busy Day at Philly Archdiocese – New Abuse Accusations and More Child Porn

The Federal authorities have announced new evidence of more crimes committed by Father Mark Haynes. The new evidence includes destroying a laptop (which was evidence) and, far worse, allegations of sexual abuse of at least three children. The abuse accusations fall outside the statute of limitations (SOL). Therefore, charges can not be pressed. This is another example of why PA needs to catch up with all the other states who have abolished the SOL for child sex abuse and have enacted a retroactive window for past victims to come forward. Reform legislation is pending but being blocked by Judiciary chairman, Rep. Ron Marsico. Visit the Protect PA Kids Facebook page to find out more and how you can contact him.

Click here to read: “New Accusations Surface Against Chester County Priest Charged With Explicit Exchanges With Minors,” Tony Hanson, CBS Philly, March 3, 2015

It turns out the Archdiocese had a very good reason to remove Father Kolenkiewicz – child porn. Perhaps he accidentally downloaded a dozen of those alleged images while in a feeding frenzy of adult porn (over 12,000 images in 2005 alone and more in 2011). Who knows? What we do know is that maybe the priesthood isn’t for him.

Click here to read: “Priest on leave after allegedly downloading porn images of minors,” by Chris Palmer, The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 3, 2015

PLEASE ATTEND – Rep. Rozzi to Lead Capitol News Conference on SOL

HARRISBURG – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, along with a bipartisan group of legislators, will carry on legislative efforts that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to take civil action against alleged abusers.

Rozzi will be joined by state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop, D-Phila.; Tom Murt, R-Montgomery/Phila.; Mike O’Brien, D-Phila.; and state Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin/Perry, at a Capitol news conference at 10 a.m. Monday, March 2 in the Main Capitol Building Rotunda, Harrisburg.

Rozzi and Teplitz will discuss their legislation that would raise the age for an adult victim of child sexual abuse to file a civil claim from 30 to 50 years, making it consistent with current criminal law, and allow for previously time-barred victims to bring suit.

Bishop will discuss her legislation that would remove the statute of limitations placed on those who were sexually abused as a child and allow victims to bring civil and criminal actions against perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse.

Legislation authored by Murt would allow for a two-year window for victims of abuse to come forward and file civil suit against their alleged perpetrators.

O’Brien will discuss extending the statute of limitations to allow victims of sexual abuse additional time to come forward.

In addition to the legislators, speakers and guests will include:
Matt Sandusky, Peaceful Hearts Foundation
Chris Anderson, MaleSurvivor Network
Kristen Houser, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Tammy Lerner, Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

EDITOR’S NOTE: I (Susan) will be attending and hope to meet some of you there. Please let me know if you plan on going.

Father Louis Kolenkiewicz Placed on Administrative Leave

Click here to read: “Phila. Archdiocese puts priest on administrative leave,” by Dylan Purcell, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, Feb. 15 (updated Feb. 16)

Excerpt: The archdiocese said Sunday it had placed the Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, on leave, “in an abundance of caution.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput took the action in response to new information stemming from allegations that were investigated twice before, in 2005 and 2011.

The archdiocese did not disclose details of the allegations but said Kolenkiewicz was alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people.

The allegations did not involve illegal or inappropriate contact with a minor, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Pope Requests Bishops’ Cooperation With Commission

Click here to read: “Pope Asks Bishops and Religious Superiors to Cooperate Fully with Commission for Protection of Minors,” by Gerard O’Connell, America, Feb. 5, 2015

Excerpt: “Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children”, the Pope said in his letter dated February 2 – the full text of which is published below. “Everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused,” he stated.  He repeated yet again that “there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.”

Will Pope Francis Accept This Invite?

Please click here to read: “Philadelphia Child Sex Abuse Nonprofit Invites Pope Francis to Visit,” by Vince Lattanzio, NBC10.com.

Excerpt: “We really thought that knowing what we know about him, knowing about his interesting commitment to the welfare of children that it would be great to showcase our work to Pope Francis,” Chris Kirchner, PCA’s executive director, tells NBC10.

Based in the city’s Hunting Park neighborhood, PCA operates on a unique model where it provides counseling, forensic interviewing and family advocate services to victims in conjunction with social workers and law enforcement. The Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit, city prosecutors and Department of Human Services all share space with the PCA in the same combined facility.

Wishing You Peace This Christmas

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See the Baby Jesus in all children.

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