April 28, 2005

Story of jailed priest retold

The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Dorothy Rabinowitz appeared to take up the cause of imprisoned, suspended New Hampshire priest Gordon MacRae in the first of a two-part series in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

In an article that accused the Catholic Church of rewarding false claims of abuse against its priests, as well as legitimate grievances, Rabinowitz painted an unflattering portrait of several of MacRae's accusers.

Yesterday, Keene Police Detective James McLaughlin, who helped put MacRae behind bars, and Diocese of Manchester Chancellor Rev. Ed Arsenault each noted that MacRae was convicted by a jury.

"I have a problem with second-guessing a jury who take their duty seriously, who hear from witnesses, assign credibility to those witnesses, hear information firsthand not through transcripts, not through sources that have agendas and then deliberate as a group and look at the strengths and weaknesses of a case," McLaughlin said in a telephone interview.

"They had no reservations about his guilt," he said of MacRae's 1994 conviction in Cheshire County Superior Court. McLaughlin, who would later establish a reputation for stopping Internet sexual predators, noted MacRae's conviction was based on witness testimony.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 05:06 AM