Philly priest appealing conviction dies in prison

A Roman Catholic priest from Philadelphia who was appealing his sexual abuse conviction has died.

A religious order confirms that 67-year-old Rev. Charles Engelhardt, of Wynnewood, died over the weekend at a Pennsylvania hospital.

An appeal had challenged the young man who lodged abuse claims against Engelhardt, another priest and a teacher.

Engelhardt had lost 50 pounds since the accusations surfaced in 2009. He was serving a six- to 12-year prison term. At his sentencing last year, Engelhardt said he “accepted this injustice” and believed “it will be righted.”

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He was convicted of indecent assault of a child under 13, corruption of a minor and conspiracy.

The Rev. Kevin Nadolski, a spokesman for the Delaware-based Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, confirmed Engelhardt’s death Monday.

The court news blog BigTrial.Net reported that Engelhardt had been hospitalized for heart problems earlier this month and then returned to prison.

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