Trial for Former Priest Accused of Sex Abuse Is Delayed

The Wdrb
June 24, 2013

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The trial for a Louisville priest accused of sex abuse has been delayed.  James Schook was supposed to go on trial Monday, but both sides agreed that he can be evaluated by a state psychiatric facility.

Last week, his attorneys said Schook was too sick to go on trial due to his having terminal skin cancer.  The case has been delayed before because doctors said Schook might not live until the end of the year. Now doctors are saying he could live several more years.

Jeff Koenig with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, says, "The last time I saw him was in December in court. He was walking around under his own power without any assistance. He didn't appear to be on death's doorstep."

Koenig goes on to say, "I do feel like it's another stalling tactic on the part of the defense, but I'd rather clear the air. I'd rather they move forward with a psychiatric evaluation to put this issue behind them once and for all."

Two boys who are now grown men say they were abused by Schook in the early 1970's.  He was just charged in 2011.

Koenig says, "We would like to see this case brought before a jury or get resolved in other ways through the court system to get some kind of resolution for the victims."

Schook was temporarily removed from the ministry in July 2009, when he was serving as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church on Rangeland Road.

In 2010, the review board determined the accusations were credible and recommended a life of prayer and penance that the Archbishop accepted.

The Archdiocese of Louisville says Schook is still a priest, but cannot celebrate mass publicly or wear clerical garb. He must also be supervised when with minors.

Koenig says, "If they find him guilty of all seven felony counts, that would be a good thing to see some substantial prison time on seven felony sodomy counts."

No word on when the case will be back in court.


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