Published January 24, 2013
PHILADELPHIA – A Roman Catholic priest and an ex-teacher charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy won't testify at their trial, which will soon move to closing arguments.
The case hinges on the credibility of the accuser, a 24-year-old policeman's son and longtime heroin addict.
His accounts of being raped in about 1999 by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, teacher Bernard Shero and a now-defrocked priest have changed significantly over time.
A church social worker has testified that the accuser initially said he had been violently attacked for hours by one man, punched by another and tied up by a third.
But jurors heard none of those details when the accuser testified last week.
Engelhardt and Shero decided Thursday not to take the stand.
The accuser's complaint led to last year's conviction of a church official for child endangerment.