Trial Blogger Calls Out Billy Doe On Inconsistencies

Click here to read: “Star witness’ story in Philadelphia sex abuse trials doesn’t add up,” analysis by Ralph Cipriano, April 29, 2013, National Catholic Reporter


“The grand jury said because of the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania, it was a ‘travesty of justice’ that all the guilty parties, including Bevilacqua and Lynn, would escape criminal prosecution.

That travesty of justice, however, created an opportunity for the next politically ambitious district attorney. Williams, the current district attorney, was described by Philadelphia magazine in an October 2012 profile as ‘a very powerful guy’ who’s ‘an oft-mentioned mayoral contender.'”

17 thoughts on “Trial Blogger Calls Out Billy Doe On Inconsistencies

  1. Looks like typical criminal behavior to me. Avery agrees to take the plea so he doesn’t have to die in prison if convicted, (saving his own neck). Once he got that out of the way, he has the opportunity to make myself look better to the public by saying, “I didn’t do it.”

    There’s no mystery here. Avery has nothing to lose and everything to gain. His statement helps himself and Lynn. Criminals lie all the time! What percentage of those in prison will openly say, “Yea, I did it?”

  2. It is not unusual for someone with avery’s personality to pass a ‘lie detector test’ , the expert just gives an opinion as to if he believes there is no deception based on breathing, skin and heartbeat. It was shown that avery was a ‘liar’ after a few minutes on the stand, when he said he was indigent and then avery admitted he bought a house for a dollar and sold it for a million ! Ralph is certainly entitled to his opinion and my opinion is that ‘avery’ is a pedophile that was enabled by the hierarchy ! Also I looked at the lobbying group ‘Greenlee and seen that their is an A.J. Marsio , Esq who works for the lobbying group, in addition I see on Bishop Accountability that there is a guy .d marsico who was a former priest in PA ! Interesting ?

  3. Many victims/survivors a faced with having to re-tell, re-live their story time and time again. This happens in therapeutic settings, personal exchanges and sworn testimonies. Ralph, is entitled to his opinion, but it is just that, an opinion.

    Here is mine. Recounting the abuse inflicted on ones self is gut wrenching, re- opening of the wound as it is said. This particular survivor, as many survivors have, suffers from PTSD. Depressing the actions and harm casued to him have turned to other substances to make himself feel better, to make the outside look OK so the inside feels better. By supressing these feelings of Fear, Anger and Resentment, we die unless it comes out. This is the tricky part…when these feelings erupt, they may manifest themselves in many ways; chemical dependancy, criminal activity, dis-association with others, isolation–the list goes on. I can say this because I have walked in Billy’s shoes. We both arrived on the same dock, just a different ship.

    While I support and remain grateful for the advocacy groups, I wonder when will the media and apologist stop focusing on the problem and start pushing more for the solution. In Pennsyslvania, the solution is in HB 342 with Rozzi and McGeehan amendments. When will Turzai, Marsico, Caltigirone, Vereb look in their own backyard an accept calls from their constituents! SOL REFORM! I am aSURVIVOR named Mike McDonnell and THAT is a credential!

  4. I am in a “state of disbelief” by the article that appeared in the National Catholic Reporter. The catholic hierarchy is determined to destroy the victims of the sexual assaults and anyone who believes that the bishops, cardinals, and the Vatican have been “Obstruction Justice” and telling lies to protect themselves. God Bless all of the members of Catholics4Change and those who believe that the only way for change to happen is for local governments to take all the clerics to trial and if found guilty sent to jail.

  5. “….Doe has never been vetted. He has everything to gain legally and financially by telling his varying versions of his story….”
    Ralph, can you imagine if the DA’s office started “vetting” each and every complainant that alleged criminal conduct? Is that “vetting” a legal term or process? Do they “vet” journalists?
    Next time, get a seat on the jury and you can do all of the “vetting” you want. This way you can stop this victim from his “legal and financial” gains.

    1. Mike I am guessing that your years of police work picked up on the “vetting”,I didn’t even notice that sentence on first read. Good catch. Forget Billy..put that case totally aside..can you imagine when you were a cop if you had to “vet” alleged victims. I am sure there are victims of crimes who are more despicable than even their that would not make them a victim of a crime? Heck even a child molester could get mugged, beaten up.
      And when attorneys used to inquire into the sex lives of female rape victims “oh she sleeps around so no one raped her..she is “easy”

      Crimes have to be investigated but start digging into complaintant’s/victims backgrounds and baggage and I don’t think many crimes would be solved and what in a person’s background would determine they actually were not a victim of a crime? How does someone close the book on that? “She claims she was raped but we checked and she is currently unemployed and has a lot of debt..the guy she is accusing is rich..this could be to just get money” But if a rich woman accused a rich man, then more credible? Can you imagine what this could lead to? Basically a person would need a pristine history before reporting a crime.

  6. What is the common, human reaction when an innocent person is found guilty? OUTRAGE! What is the common, human reaction when an innocent person, who is a member of one of the most powerful institutions on the face of the earth (the Catholic Church), is found guilty? OUTRAGE!

    Name one Catholic cleric who has expressed OUTRAGE at the convictions in Philadelphia. Name one Catholic cleric implicated in the trials of convicted clerics in Philadelphia (Cullen and Cistone) who has expressed OUTRAGE. Has Ragali expressed OUTRAGE? Has Chaput expressed OUTRAGE? Has the Vatican expressed OUTRAGE at the convictions in Philadelphia?

    Granted, at times the testimony of “Billy” was conflicting. Experts on victims of abuse would acknowledge this common profile and pattern. But, if innocent people were convicted in Philadelphia, who can make sense of the utter lack of OUTRAGE on the part of clerics, the Church, and the Vatican who routinely exhibit OUTRAGE and spend exorbitant amounts of money over any number of issues that defy their agenda or unnecessarily “crucify” one of their own (in their opinion).

    Instead… we see clerics, the Church, and the Vatican acknowledging a LONG history of sexual abuse, yet making silent and, thus far, inept attempts to pick up the pieces, admit accountability, deal with the perps and colluders, and heal the Church.

    The guilt is palpable!

  7. This article just continues the travesty of justice that has gone hand in hand with trying to hold someone accountable for the sexual abuse of innocent children by some Catholic priests and the coverup by the Hierarchy. In Ralphs’ defense,this is not something new that he just brought up. He has maintained this view from the day the verdict was announced. I believe this case had some problems from the very beginning. Our justice system, although the best in the world,has its problems. Mostly because people are involved. Everyone has their own interests to protect. The defendents, the lawyers and even the accuser. I personally believe, and I have no evidence to back this up, that someone on the jury had prior knowledge of the guilt of one or more of the defendants prior to the trial. It is the only conclusion that makes any sense to me.There was reasonable doubt and the verdict came too quickly. But having said all that, there is no one involved in this case that came out of it, smelling very good.

  8. I have read Ralph’s postings on his blog.

    There was reasonable doubt. The verdict was a shock to me, even though I was hoping for a guilty verdict. There were inconsistencies in Billy Doe’s story and some of the testimony of a few witnesses could have been pulled apart like cotton candy.

    However, each time there would be a comment on that blog that would challenge Ralph’s perspective, he would come out with another posting about the inconsistencies. There was a glaring problem Ralph seemed to always overlook. HE wasn’t sitting on that jury. When he interviewed someone who was, they stated very simply that they believed Billy. Nope, not enough for him. Despite that nugget of information, he continued his postings pointing out all of the inconsistencies. That’s a pretty powerful point to miss, don’t you think? Yes, that’s right…all those inconsistencies and they still believed Billy Doe! Defies logic. That’s the crap shoot you take when you go with a jury trial.

    For decades the rcc has made deals with high powered politicians, judges, and attorneys, and bullied victims. They have evaded, deceived and lied to cover their crimes. They raped children!!!! Used innocent people’s money to lie about it!!!! How in the world could they do what they’ve done and not affect public opinion? The tide has turned. The jury pool is “tainted” so to speak. A jury was selected…and that combination of jurors believed Billy. Ralph jumping up and down calling Billy a liar and Seth Williams a climber doesn’t change what that jury believed to be true. All those jurors were supposed to drop their knowledge/love/hate/agendas at the door and base a decision on the merits of this specific case. Then why have jury selection where each side can eliminate unfavorable candidates for their purpose? We all know we can’t “unknow” our experiences. As much as we think we can be fair, we bring our experiences to the table (or jury box).

    To me, this is is a natural “consequence” for raping children and then lying about it. How could a jury convict when there was reasonable doubt? They’d been lied to by the defendants and couldn’t trust them. They also stated something quite simple….they believed the victim.

    I think our work is helping educate the public! Keep up the good work.

    1. Nicely said Survivor’s wife!

      Now let’s get Engelhardt and Shero sentenced, and start investigating the appropriate bishops.

    2. survivors wife, So many thoughts on this. Of course the abuse in the RCC is now known worldwide but it didn’t seem to affect the Lynn/Brennan jury, even with the other 20 some cases introduced to show conspiracy. In the beginning, before I had a real understanding of the charges, I thought conspiracy was a slam dunk but then I found out conspiracy also involved intent..meaning did Lynn want/expect kids to be abused at these parishes where they continued to assign these abusive priests? Were the priests sent there with the purpose of actually abusing children. No, it was more like send them for some treatment and cross our fingers it doesn’t happen again. These children meant nothing to them,absolutely nothing. Even if an abusive priest did not touch one of the kids at a new assignment, the knowledge the AD had and not disclosing it to the pastors ,teachers,parents endangerment of children (my opinion) even just allowing the abusive priest to be with the kids is endangerment, but I do not believe that Lynn “wanted” more kids to be harmed or sent them there with the purpose of harming children. I think he simply didn’t care.
      There is so much that went wrong but the law clearly defines what someone can be found guilty and the jury in the Lynn case rejected the conspiracy charge even with the tainted reputation of the RCC . Actually although the DA wants to call the guilty of EWOC charge historic, which it was, most of Lynn/Brennan verdict was hung or not guilty. I found that jury to be very attentive and the mounds of evidence was so hard to keep track of for me and I knew so much about the evidence.
      I did not attend the Shero/Englehardt trial , I did follow it but not as closely as the Lynn/Brennan trial. I was surprised by the lack of testimony concerning Shero..based on the GJ report I expected much more. Englhardt has always been the under the radar one in this whole case and it seemed that way in the trial also ,at least from what I read. Was this jury influenced by their own prejudices where I honestly don’t think the Lynn/Brennan jury was? I don’t know, but I do know that they had to deliberate about Billy’s inconsistencies, Avery’s reversal and Hagners’ actions (not shredding the notes etc..) The alternate juror who claims she would have voted not guilty, did not believe Billy, believed Avery and felt sorry for Hagner. The juror who voted guilty, believed Billy, did not believe Avery and had no sympathy for Hagner…it is an interesting trio, Billy ,Avery and Hagner and my thought is that the jury went with who they believed most which does not mean doubt was not reasonable but that they were weighing various inconsistencies and someone came up with the short end of the stick…in this case Avery and Hagner. At some point Shero and Englehardt took a backseat and the trio of Billy,Avery and Hagner is what took over when reaching a verdict. Just my opinion.

      1. All great points Kathy.

        Mine was that it is no longer a “slam dunk” for the rcc anymore. Fifteen to twenty years ago, if Catholics were sitting on those juries, it meant something to a verdict. Not so anymore.

        1. I understand and I do think that applies more to the hierarchy and their guilt rather than trials for individual priests. You talk to local area church going Catholics whose eyes glaze over when talking about the guilt of the “Bevilaqua’s”, their comments make the comments on this site seem mild mannered.

        2. Survivors Wife: I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment that if there was a Catholic on the jury, even 10 years ago,the verdict would have been different. But also consider the fact that many people today know someone who was abused by a member of the clergy.Not all victims are willing to go public but I am sure many have shared their experiences with someone[.a family member, a close friend, a therapist, a spouse]I also believe that the tide is turning. Also ,I believe there are so many victims out there, it would be difficult, if not impossible to pick a jury that someone on that jury has not been affected by childhood abuse. Maybe in future trials, lawyers for clergy accused of abuse will try to avoid picking Catholics to serve. Wow! The worm has turned.

  9. Jim and also a jury where no one has been affected by addiction whether their own or a loved one’s. The drug history of Billy of course was part of the case but I imagine if the defense went too hard on the addiction angle, that could backfire based on the personal history people bring with them to the jury room. The attorney who sometimes comments on Ralph’s blog had a really good comment recently about that.
    So much involved in how people frame things based on their own experience and arrive at their decisions.

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