Priest’s accuser wasn’t on heroin at time of claim, witness says

    A church social worker says she believed a longtime heroin addict was sober when he raised abuse claims against two priests and a teacher.



    Louise Hagner’s testimony for the defense Wednesday is designed to discredit the accuser. The young man has testified that he was high when he first detailed the abuse.

    He has since changed key details of his story.

    Hagner’s notes show he said he was abused by sixth-grade teacher Bernard Shero in the classroom in 2000 and raped by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt for five hours at church.

    The 24-year-old now says Shero abused him at a park and Engelhardt for a much shorter time period.

    The 49-year-old Shero and 66-year-old Engelhardt are fighting the charges. The other priest has taken a plea deal, but still denies abusing the boy.

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