Former Louisville Priest Will Stand Trial on Sex Abuse Charges
By Courtney Godfrey
November 7, 2013
A former Louisville priest accused of sexual abuse will stand trial.
After hearing from witnesses on both sides, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry decided that James Schook is competent enough to stand trial.
Schook is charged with sexually abusing teenage boys in the 1970s. He currently faces seven charges of sodomy.
During a competency hearing Thursday, the defense attorney called Schook's brothers to the stand. They both described him as forgetful, paranoid, and lethargic.
"He should be dead. According to the statistics with what he has, he should be dead," said Jesse Schook.
They spoke of his many mental and physical health problems including dementia and cancer.
"He loses continuity in his speaking, start a sentence and not be able to finish it, or even forget the subject matter," said Jesse.
But the prosecution said all these problems started after the indictment in July 2013 and it's all an act.
"He was smiling, lively, animated, and obviously following a conversation," said Dr. Helen Deines. Deines described seeing Schook in Panera in September 2013 enjoying lunch with friends. "He did not look like he looks today."
Amy Trivette of the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center also took the stand. She testified about her evaluation of Schook months ago.
One of the alleged victims sat in court Thursday, hoping that after four and a half years in the court system he will finally see justice.
"It infuriates me that the system keeps taking so long, to finally do something that should have been done five years ago," said Michael Stansbury.
Judge Perry agreed the trial has been delayed too long. "I have allowed the case to get a little bit older due to requests but that needs to stop and we need to set this for trial."
Trial is set to begin March 31.