Cancer-stricken Ex-priest on Trial for Sex Abuse
By Dylan Lovan
April 15, 2014
|The Rev. James Schook, left, walks with his brother Jesse Schook in the Jefferson County courthouse on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, a Louisville, Ky. A judge ruled Thursday that the terminally ill Catholic priest accused of abusing two boys at a Louisville church in the 1970s is not too sick to stand trial on sodomy charges. Schook is suffering from skin cancer and other ailments.|
His attorney, David Lambertus, told the jury during his opening statement that the victims waited three or four decades to come forward with the abuse allegations. Lambertus said Schook succumbed to “human frailty” but said Schook did not break the law.
Whitfield said that for years he was too ashamed to report the alleged abuse.
“In the 1970s, that was a total taboo subject,” Whitfield said.
Lambertus argued during a hearing last year that Schook was so ill and incapacitated that a criminal trial would be a “mockery.” Schook’s brother, Jesse Schook, testified in court last year that Schook had lost about 60 pounds and suffers from intense pain, dizziness and has paranoid episodes.
Prosecutors argued that Schook was exaggerating his symptoms to avoid a criminal trial.
Schook was permanently removed from ministry in 2010.