BishopAccountability.org
 
  Jury Selection Opens in Catholic Priest's Sexual Abuse Trial


By Robert Patrick
Post-Dispatch [St. Louis MO]
August 29, 2005

The criminal prosecution of a Catholic priest charged with performing oral sex on a teenage boy in the Old Cathedral more than 25 years ago started Monday in St. Louis Circuit Court.

The prosecution of the Rev. Thomas Graham, 71, is being seen by some Missouri prosecutors as the test case that will determine if they can pursue decades-old sex charges.

Graham is being prosecuted under a 1969 law that did not provide a statute of limitations for "abominable and detestable crimes against nature."

If convicted of sodomy, Graham could face up to life in prison.

Graham has maintained his innocence since the allegations surfaced in 1994, according to a statement released Monday by the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

That statement says the archdiocese investigated the allegation and "based on available information, did not find it to be substantiated."

Graham has been removed from the active ministry and is in a "monitored residential setting," the archdiocese said.

Graham's lawyer, Christian Goeke, declined to comment outside the courtroom Monday.

A grand jury indicted Graham in December 2002, but his lawyers challenged prosecutors' ability to use the old statute.

Last summer, the Missouri Court of Appeals in St. Louis overturned a lower judge's decision throwing out the case.

The Missouri Supreme Court declined to review the case in December, allowing the prosecution to proceed.

Goeke again tried unsuccessfully in June, arguing that under a Missouri Supreme Court decision that freed a former Catholic priest, the statute being used to prosecute Graham was so vague and overbroad that it could criminalize innocent conduct.

During jury selection Monday, prospective jurors were questioned about a variety of topics, including whether they were Catholic and whether they had been affected by sexual abuse.

About one-third of the 60 jurors said they or someone they knew had reported sexual abuse.

"I wouldn't be able to even hear it," one woman said of the case.

Several more said they had left the Catholic Church, one mentioning what she called the church's hypocrisy.

Another said she came from a family of priests and nuns and couldn't be fair.

More than one prospective juror voiced doubts after prosecutor Ed Postawko told them that witness testimony would be the crux of the case. He asked if having no physical evidence and only one witness alleging the decades-old act would affect jurors' decision-making.

"I would have a hard time," one man said. "Why now?"

Graham and Goeke smiled when one prospective juror entered the courtroom Monday morning - a Catholic priest wearing a Roman collar.

He was not chosen for the jury. In an emotional response to questions, he said he had met with many children who had been abused.

Graham appeared in court in a black suit and a burgundy shirt buttoned to the collar, and he appeared relaxed when chatting with supporters before the day began.

Bishops around the country have been asked not to allow priests to wear clerical garb when facing criminal charges of sexually abusing a minor, the archdiocese said.

 
 

Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
     
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems