Prosecution Rests in Sex Abuse Case

Prosecutors rested their case today against the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former lay teacher Bernard Shero on charges the two men sexually abused the same boy in 1999 and 2000. CBS Philly reports:

Today, the prosecution closed its case with the testimony of a pediatrician who testified to various maladies suffered by the alleged victim at about the time of the alleged assaults.

The defense then opened with character testimony — mostly family members of the two defendants, but also a longtime friend of Engelhardt who testified that the defendants have a reputation for excellent character.

The Inquirer adds that Shero’s mother, Bonita, took the stand, saying her son 23 cartaracts surgeries in the first seven months of his life, leaving him mostly unable to see and, as a result, a “close talker” who often makes people feel uncomfortable in conversations.  Defense attorney Burton Rose, the paper notes, “has argued that Shero’s disability made him an outcast as a child and adult—and the perfect target for rumors that he was a child molester.”