Former Priest's 20-year Sentence Upheld

By Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 1, 2012

A former Catholic priest who sexually assaulted two teenage boys in Elm Grove in the late 1970s and early 1980s will have to finish his 20-year prison term, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

James R. Blume, 66, argued on appeal that his 2010 sentence should be reduced because his failing health should be considered a new factor, the original sentence was unduly harsh or in the interest of justice.

The state Court of Appeals noted that Blume's health issues were known to the judge at sentencing and don't amount to a new factor.

Nor did the judges believe 20 years was unduly harsh or that justice demands a new term.

"Because the trial court properly exercised its sentencing discretion and due to our conclusion that no new factors exist, there has been no miscarriage of justice in this case."

Blume also seemed to suggest the settlement of a civil claim against him should factor into his sentence.

"As Blume concedes, the details and outcome of that civil suit were sealed and unknown to both the trial and the postconviction court. It is unknown whether general or compensatory damages were awarded and to what extent Blume rather than the church was liable for any damages."








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