February 15, 2005

Detective Testifies in Trial of Ex-Priest

Beacon Journal

Associated Press

BALTIMORE - Two detectives who investigated one man's sexual abuse claims against a now-defrocked priest testified that they found evidence of other victims - an accusation that drew howls from defense attorneys.

Lt. Frederick Roussey first looked into allegations against Maurice Blackwell in 1993 - the year Dontee Stokes reported he had been abused by the priest as a teen. Nearly a decade later, another detective, Shawn Harrison, re-examined Stokes' claims after Stokes shot and wounded the former priest over the alleged abuse.

Both investigators testified Monday that they found other people who claimed to have been abused by the once-popular Roman Catholic priest. The defense asked three times for a mistrial, but a judge denied the request.

Testimony ended early on Monday because the prosecution's last witness, Monsignor Brian Ferme a canon law expert with Catholic University in Washington, was unavailable. The trial was expected to resume Tuesday.

Blackwell, who was shot and wounded by Stokes three years ago, is charged with four counts of child sex abuse. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in prison. Stokes served home detention for attacking Blackwell.

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2005 09:13 AM