February 18, 2005

Ex-Priest Shot by Former Altar Boy in 2002 Convicted of Abusing Him

Los Angeles Times

By Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writer

BALTIMORE For a decade, Dontee Stokes was desperate for people to believe him. But not until a 12-member jury Thursday convicted former Roman Catholic priest Maurice J. Blackwell on three counts of sexual abuse was the former altar boy finally able to imagine a life free of the need to prove himself.

Tormented by memories of childhood abuse by a clergyman he once had admired, Stokes told his anguished story to police detectives in 1993. After years of official inaction, he approached Blackwell on a Baltimore street corner two years ago, pulled out a silver-plated handgun and shot and wounded his nemesis.

Even after he was acquitted two years ago in the former priest's attempted murder, Stokes pressed on, urging the same prosecutors who had tried to jail him to convict Blackwell.

On Thursday, still hobbling from his wounds, Blackwell, 58, sat impassively as the jury foreman read the guilty verdict against him. Defrocked by the Vatican last year in another molestation case, Blackwell faces up to 45 years' imprisonment.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 03:57 AM