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Cancer-stricken former priest goes on trial in Louisville for sex abuse charges from 1970s

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:16 PM EDT

A former Catholic priest stricken with skin cancer is on trial in Louisville, facing several charges that he sexually abused two teenage boys in the 1970s.

James Schook was indicted on seven sodomy charges in 2011, but he sought several delays of the court proceedings as he battled the illness.

The trial's first witness, Richard Whitfield, told the jury that he began having sexual encounters with Schook in the summer of 1971, when Whitfield was 13. He said the encounters often occurred in Schook's room in the rectory at St. Rita Catholic Church in Louisville. Whitfield says for years, he was too ashamed to report the alleged abuse.

Last year, Schook's attorney told a judge that Schook was so ill and incapacitated that a criminal trial would be a "mockery."


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