May 03, 2005

MacRae's lawyer vows to appeal

KEENE (NH)
Concord Monitor

By DANIEL BARRICK
Monitor staff

May 03. 2005 8:00AM

A lawyer for Gordon MacRae, a suspended Catholic priest convicted of child sexual assault over a decade ago, said he plans to appeal MacRae's conviction and prison sentence in state and federal courts later this year.

MacRae is serving a 33- to 67-year sentence for raping a 15-year-old Keene boy. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three other boys shortly after that conviction in 1994. MacRae's appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court was rejected two years later. Though his case has been dormant since then, a pair of columns in the Wall Street Journal last week argued that MacRae had been wrongly convicted, renewing interest in the case.

Ted Carey, an attorney from Tennessee who has been reviewing MacRae's case since last year, said his work for MacRae is independent from the Journal columns. He wouldn't discuss the specifics of his appeal but said he would dispute both the length of MacRae's sentence and the constitutionality of the trial that led to his conviction.

"In general, I think Father MacRae's sentence was too long for even what he was convicted of and/or pled guilty to," Carey said. "And I think there are some serious questions about the process that led to those convictions. . . . My overriding objective is to try to secure his release from prison. I don't think he belongs there any longer, if he ever did."

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2005 07:24 AM