October 13, 2005

Judge: Monk not fit for trial

The Cullman Times

Jimmy Simms
The Cullman Times
Published on: 10-13-2005

A Benedictine monk at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, charged with the first-degree rape of a young novitiate nun more than 33 years ago, has been declared incompetent to stand trial.

Based on competency reports prepared by the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Retardation and other experts, Circuit Court Judge Frank Brunner Wednesday dismissed without prejudice the rape charge against the Rev. Ignatius Kane, OSB, 83, but left open the possibility that the state may pursue the case at a later time if and when it is determined that the defendant has been restored to competency.

"It is the conclusion of this evaluation that it is unlikely that Father Ignatius will be restored to competency due to a progressive state of dementia. It is also the opinion of the state that he does not pose a threat to either himself or others due to his medical condition and the fact that he is bedridden and in need of constant care," Brunner said. "Therefore, it is the judgment of this court that this case be dismissed without prejudice."

In a prepared statement by defense attorney Tim Culpepper, who is representing the priest, Culpepper stated that he has mixed emotions about the dismissal of charges.

Posted by kshaw at October 13, 2005 09:33 AM