April 29, 2005

Judge stands by priest's sex abuse sentence

The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

MANCHESTER Superior Court Judge Arthur Brennan yesterday stood by his sentencing of suspended priest Gordon MacRae, whose trial and imprisonment were the subject of a two-part essay in the Wall Street Journal this week.

"I did my best to be fair and impartial in the case, and the jury made its decision, and I carefully considered the arguments of both sides at sentencing and made the decision to sentence Gordon MacRae to a substantial sentence based on the arguments I heard and the considerations of sentencing in New Hampshire," Brennan said yesterday in a telephone interview from Sullivan County Superior Court.

MacRae received the maximum New Hampshire prison sentence in November 1994 of 33 to 67 years for sexual assault on a male between 13 and 16 years old.

The sentencing followed a three-day hearing in which five victims described how MacRae befriended them as teenagers and then sexually molested them. Only one alleged victim testified during the jury trial.

Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz's articles Wednesday and yesterday focused not only on the question of MacRae's guilt or innocence, but also on the system that allows anonymous accusers to receive financial settlements for allegations of sexual abuse against priests.

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2005 07:54 AM