Jury Recommends 15 Years for Schook
April 17, 2014
The jury that convicted Rev. James Schook of sexual abuse has recommended he serve 15 years in prison.
On Wednesday, Rev. James Schook was convicted of three counts of sodomy and one count of engaging in an indecent or immoral practice with another. The case dates back to the 1970s, when Schook engaged in a sexual relationship with Richard Whitfield, who was then 13.
The jury's recommendation was: two years each for three counts of sodomy and nine years for indecent and immoral behavior.
In his closing argument this morning, Schook's attorney told the jury that, considering the fact that Schook has terminal cancer, the sentence becomes more than just numbers.
"If we're talking about timing somebody's life, I think it's fair to say what life is left there," said David Lambertus, Schook's attorney. "I mean, at some point, a small amount is actually a large amount."
"He has cancer. He has Stage 4 cancer," said John Balliet, the prosecutor. "But mitigation is something that makes the crime less serious, and the fact that he has cancer, I don't think, qualifies – but that's your decision, not mine."
The jury's recommendation is not final. Formal sentencing will come from the judge.