If there were still any doubt about the criminal fraud committed against the Catholic Church in Philadelphia by D.A. Seth Williams and his publicity-seeking prosecutors, look no further than the eye-popping cover story this week in Newsweek by veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano.
Over the last few years on the blog BigTrial.net, Cipriano closely followed the trials against Catholic clergy which received widespread local and national attention.
The accuser at the center of it all, Dan Gallagher, claimed that during the 1998-1999 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy in Philadelphia, he was serially raped and abused – sometimes for hours on end – by the late Fr. Charles Engelhardt, former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero, and ex-priest Edward Avery, all of whom barely even knew each other.
The mainstream media wakes up
Numerous times over the past several years Cipriano has written about a mountain of indisputable evidence indicating that Gallagher most certainly falsely accused the trio of Engelhardt, Shero, and Avery.
However, in his Newsweek piece, Cipriano expands the story even further. Cipriano now reveals details of a 40-page psychologist report concluding that because the "immature," "manipulative," and "hedonistic" Gallagher has admitted providing false information about his past repeatedly, there is no way to conclude "to a reasonable degree" that Gallagher has ever been abused by a priest, or by anyone in his life.
Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any clear-thinking person, not to mention 12 individuals sitting on a jury, believing Gallagher's crazy and unbelievable tales. The evidence for the convicted men’s innocence is beyond overwhelming:
- Even members of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office itself did not believe Gallagher's wild claims and questioned whether they should even put Engelhardt and Shero on trial.
- Triple-accuser Gallagher has been arrested at least six times – once for possession of 56 bags of heroin – and has been in-and-out of some 23 drug re-habs.
[Check out a court summary of Gallagher's extensive arrest record]
- Gallagher even explicitly told drug counselors that he had "no history of physical or sexual abuse."
- Gallagher has admitted that he lied when he said he worked as a paramedic and a "professional surfer" (yes, a professional surfer from Philadelphia);
- On three separate occasions, Gallagher told drug counselors that his older brother had been arrested for molestation. In truth, Gallagher's older brother, James Gallagher, is a recently licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and has never been arrested at all.
- An alternate juror even came forward after the trial with the dramatic charge that the guilty verdicts against Engelhardt and Shero were "insane," "incredible," and "a tragic miscarriage of justice."
- Fr. Engelhardt easily passed a polygraph test denying that he abused Danny or anyone, and the test administrator was a guy often hired by the Philly D.A.'s Office itself.
- Ex-priest Avery not only passed a polygraph test indicating that he had never abused Gallagher, but he also told authorities he never even met him before. In addition, records later revealed that Gallagher never even served as an altar boy at Mass with Avery, as Gallagher had claimed.
- Fr. Engelhardt previously waved his fifth amendment rights and voluntarily appeared before the Philadelphia grand jury, at which he asserted his innocence and testified, "I have no knowledge of who the person is. If he's sitting in this room today, I can't pick him out … I found it to be a very humbling thing to be called on the phone … when you know, there was no truth or that was something unrealistic that was happening to you."
- And as we have relayed before, Gallagher has told separate tales of abuse by the trio of men that not only defy any reasonable belief but have varied wildly over time.
Paging Rolling Stone magazine
Cipriano reminds readers that Gallagher's bogus rape story was the subject of a splashy 2011 story in Rolling Stone magazine by Sabrina Rubin Erdely.
The crusading Erdely wrote, with no shortage of lurid detail, of how Gallagher, described only as a "sweet and gentle kid," was repeatedly raped and sodomized by the three men and forced to perform stripteases after Mass.
Does Erdely's name sound familiar? Well, she is the same Erdely who wrote an incredible, 9000-word piece in 2014 for Rolling Stone about "Jackie," a University of Virginia co-ed who claimed she was gang raped by seven men at a fraternity party. The story received huge national attention.
The question now is: Will Rolling Stone retract its bogus Gallagher story?
Many kudos to Newsweek for publishing Cipriano's piece and helping get the truth out about this egregious miscarriage of justice.