July 07, 2005

Stokes decries decision not to retry Blackwell

Baltimore Sun

Originally published July 7, 2005
Dontee Stokes said yesterday that because a former West Baltimore priest - whom he accused of molesting him and later shot - will not face a retrial, "There is no safe haven within the system" for sexual assault victims.

"They'll continue to be victimized by the state's attorney's office," Stokes, 29, said in a news conference called by his former defense attorney, Warren A. Brown.

Stokes was informed Friday that State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy would not retry Maurice Blackwell, 59. The defrocked Catholic priest was convicted in February by a Baltimore jury on three counts of sexual child abuse for molesting Stokes when he was a teenage choirboy at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church.

But Circuit Judge Stuart R. Berger overturned the conviction in April by granting Blackwell a new trial, ruling that several of the state's witnesses had improperly testified about other victims.

Posted by kshaw at July 7, 2005 07:16 AM