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.

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    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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