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Pa. priest trial closes as civil lawyers look on

January 25, 2013

(AP) A courtroom filled with lawyers has heard closing arguments in a priest-abuse case that rocked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


A jury must decide whether a 24-year-old heroin addict whose complaint took down a church official and brought thousands of secret church files to light is credible.


The policeman's son came forward in 2009 with the stunning claim that he'd been raped by two priests and a teacher.


One ex-priest has pleaded guilty, while the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and ex-teacher Bernard Shero are on trial.


In closings Friday, prosecutor Mark Cipolletti pointed out the many civil lawyers in court representing the financial interests of the archdiocese, Engelhardt's religious order, the accuser and others.


Defense lawyers noted the accuser's changing story, and said no other students have accused their clients of abuse.


Associated Press