April 09, 2005

Ex-priest wins new trial in molestation case

Baltimore Sun

By Julie Bykowicz
Sun Staff
Originally published April 9, 2005

Maurice Blackwell, the former West Baltimore Roman Catholic priest convicted of molesting a one-time choirboy, was granted a new trial yesterday because of improper testimony in his first trial.

The ruling by the Baltimore Circuit Court judge who oversaw Blackwell's trial marked the latest twist in a case that first grabbed headlines three years ago with a Reservoir Hill shooting at the height of the American Catholic Church's priest abuse scandal.

Blackwell, 59, was convicted in February on three counts of sexual child abuse after a trial marred by what Judge Stuart R. Berger determined yesterday were errors that made justice impossible for the once-popular priest.

Berger granted the defense motion for a new trial based largely on testimony by two Baltimore detectives and the alleged victim, Dontee Stokes, that referred to other people allegedly molested by Blackwell.

Posted by kshaw at April 9, 2005 07:50 AM