A former altar boy testified on Wednesday that he was sexually abused by a Philadelphia priest. The testimony occurred during the landmark case against Monsignor William Lynn who has been charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly failing to act in response to cases of alleged priest sex abuse of children. The victim testified that Edward Avery, a former priest, abused him when he was ten years old. Avery has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges.
The victim, now 23, told the jury that he was abused in 1998 by Avery and another priest, Charles Engelhardt, when he was an altar boy at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Northeast Philadelphia. He said that he turned to drugs and tried to commit suicide as a result of the abuse. The victim also said that he was too scared to tell his parents.
Earlier this week, another victim testified, telling jurors that he did not feel Monsignor Lynn listened to his complaints. A grand jury alleged in its January 2011 report that Monsignor Lynn did not remove priests known to have abused children from ministry positions in which they had access to children. The report stated that Lynn “acted as if his job was to protect the abuser, never the abused.”
CNN 4/25/12; New York Times 4/25/12; CBS News 4/25/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/3/12