Pedophile Priest James Blume Will Remain in Prison
By John Pilmaier
November 1, 2012
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has upheld the 20 year prison sentence that was imposed upon former Catholic priest James Blume. Blume who pled guilty in 2010 to two counts of child sexual assault had asked the court to reconsider his sentence due to his deteriorating health. The state appeals court concluded that “there has been no miscarriage of justice in this case”.
Blume is one of over twenty Catholic clergy who have been prosecuted in recent years utilizing Wisconsin’s “fleeing sex offender law” which allows for the prosecution of child predators who commit child sexual assault and then flee the state. Once the perpetrator crosses state lines the remaining criminal statute “tolls” or “freezes” which may allow for prosecution even in cases where the crimes were committed decades ago.
Despite his criminal conviction for child sexual assault Blume is not listed on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s official list of priest sex offenders. As a former religious order priest Blume, who taught religious education at St. Luke’s parish in Brookfield, is one of an unknown number of clerics whose crimes continue to be concealed by the archdiocese.
The proceedings currently underway in Federal Bankruptcy Court have revealed that there remain at least 100 unidentified sexual predators, 70 of whom are priests, who are affiliated with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The Archdiocese has yet to inform Catholics or the community how these reports of sexual assault are being investigated, what criteria are used to substantiate these reports, and if these individuals are continuing to work with children and families.
As we have witnessed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, at Penn State University, and most recently at the Boy Scouts of America, the continued cover-up of child sex crimes only serve to protect the interests of perpetrators and institutions that harbor them, not children and the vulnerable.
Victim/Survivors, their families, and advocates are grateful for the decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upholding James Blume’s sentence which sends a strong message to the community that sex crimes against children will not be tolerated and will be punished accordingly.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our national website is SNAPnetwork.org. The local Wisconsin website is SNAPwisconsin.com.