Priest, ex-teacher get prison in Philly abuse case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Roman Catholic priest to six to 12 years in prison and a former teacher to eight to 16 years in a sex-abuse case that brought down a Philadelphia church official.

The Rev. Charles Engelhardt of Wynnewood and Bernard Shero of Levittown maintained their innocence at sentencing Wednesday.

Shero says he believes he was targeted because his visual impairments make him an easy target. He says he never had any problems with his accuser in class in the 1990s.

Engelhardt says he doesn’t remember the accuser, who has long struggled with heroin addiction and related legal problems.

The sexual abuse complaints led to the conviction of Monsignor William Lynn, who had transferred now-defrocked priest Edward Avery to the parish despite concerns he was a pedophile.

Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler says the far lower guideline sentences are not long enough for the damage done.

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