God knows, the Catholic church has given us plenty of cause to doubt them on child sexual assault cases. But this story is really disturbing — and the author, Ralph Cipriano, is one of the few journalists who took on the Catholic church when it was still unthinkable — and lost his job at the Philadelphia Inquirer over it. So this is not someone trying to make excuses for abusive priests — and means, once again, we have a case of prosecutors chasing headlines and not the truth. Go read the whole sorry story:
Meanwhile, four men were sent to jail because of Gallagher’s accusations, and one of those men died in prison. At Engelhardt’s funeral, the Reverend James Greenfield, the provincial who leads the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, revealed that on the eve of his criminal trial, Engelhardt could have negotiated a deal that would gotten him off with just community service. Instead, he got sentenced to six to 12 years in prison “because he would not perjure himself by pleading guilty to ‘make a deal,’ to admit to a crime that he did not commit.”
Talk to the eight defense lawyers in the criminal cases and they’ll all tell you Daniel Gallagher is a chronic liar, a junkie hustler and a confabulator. They can’t believe how lucky he’s been. After the DA got Gallagher out of jail so he could tell his stories of sexual abuse, he was arrested twice on charges of drug possession, including one bust for possession with intent to distribute 56 bags of heroin. But, thanks to his criminal lawyer, that heroin was thrown out of court as evidence. A subsequent drug bust, on charges of possession of a controlled substance, also disappeared after nine continuances in 18 months, when the DA let Gallagher into an accelerated rehab program for which he ordinarily would not have been eligible.
Today, Daniel Gallagher is a free man with a clean record living in Florida with his new wife, who’s expecting the couple’s first child. And, thanks to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he’s also a multimillionaire.