News Briefing


Priest pleads guilty to stealing

A former president of the largest high school in the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty March 9 to theft and forgery charges but will not face any charges stemming from his alleged sexual abuse of a male student.

The Rev. Charles Newman, former head of Archbishop Ryan High School, faces one count of forgery, a second-degree felony, and two counts of theft, a third-degree felony.

Prosecutors allege that Newman stole more than $900,000 from the school and his order of the Franciscan Friars between 2002-03.

A grand jury presentment released in 2007 alleged that Newman gave $54,000 of the stolen funds to former student Arthur Baselice III.

Baselice’s father told the grand jury that his son said Newman repeatedly sexually abused him and supplied him with illegal drugs while he was still in school. Baselice’s father said his son put an end to the abuse after his 1996 graduation but Newman continued to give him money.

Baselice filed suit against Newman in 2004 for sexual abuse, but the case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

Baselice died of a drug overdose in 2006.

During this week’s hearing, Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi did not permit Deputy District Attorney Charles Gallagher to read to the court the section of the presentment that mentioned the sexual-abuse allegations.

Newman will be sentenced May 8. He could face up to 24 years in prison.

Prop. 8 discussion at Rutgers

Rutgers University School of Law’s 20th annual State Constitutional Law Lecture next month will focus on Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Vikram Amar, associate dean and professor at the University of California-Davis School of Law, will lead a discussion on “Direct Democracy, the Proposition 8 Episode and the Nature of State Constitutions” at 12:30 p.m. April 1 in room 204 of the Law School Building, Fifth and Penn streets on the Rutgers’ Camden campus.

The discussion, sponsored by the Rutgers-Camden Center for State Constitutional Studies and the Rutgers School of Law-Camden, is free and open to the public.

For more information, call (856) 225-6625.

Kildare’s hosts DVLF fundraiser

Kildare’s Pub will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the second annual “Kiss Me, I’m Irish and Gay” tea-dance party from 4-8 p.m. March 15 at the pub, 4417 Main St. in Manayunk.

The event, which was conceived by a partnership between Thom Cardwell and James Duggan and Kildare’s founder Dave Magrogan, will feature drink specials, complimentary appetizers, giveaways, door prizes and free T-shirts.

A portion of the event proceeds will go to benefit the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, an LGBT grantmaking organization.

— Jen Colletta