February 24, 2005

Ex-priest's lawyer seeks new trial

The Herald-Mail

by The Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) - An attorney for a defrocked priest convicted of sexually abusing a former parishioner requested a new trial on Wednesday, arguing that statements about other alleged victims made it impossible for Maurice Blackwell to get a fair trial.

"We believe that a review of the law clearly supports our position for a new trial and we're hopeful that the judge will grant it," attorney Kenneth Ravenell said after the motion was filed in Baltimore Circuit Court.

An appeal to a higher court could follow if the judge rejects the request.

Blackwell, 58, was convicted last week of committing three counts of child sexual abuse against Dontee Stokes, who shot the cleric in 2002, nearly a decade after the abuse. Blackwell faces up to 45 years in prison.

Ravenell contends that statements made at the trial by two witnesses referring to other alleged sex abuse victims who suffered at the hands of Blackwell were grounds for a new trial.

Posted by kshaw at February 24, 2005 07:28 AM