Schook case goes to the jury - News, Weather & Sports

Schook case goes to the jury

James Schook in court on March 31, 2014. James Schook in court on March 31, 2014.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A jury is now deciding the fate of a former priest accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Attorneys for James Schook, 66, who is charged with seven counts of sodomy, called no witnesses in his defense.

In closing statements, Schook's attorney said the first three counts should come back as not guilty because of the judge's order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense said the account of one victim that abuses by Schook against him happened before April 1972 didn't add up. That's because Schook didn't start at St. Rita until the summer of that year.

The Commonwealth told jurors the evidence is simple, they had heard two eyewitnesses and that is the end of the case.

Prosecutors say Schook lived at the rectory at St. Rita in 1970 or 1971 and other people say they had met Schook there. The state also said Schook told Michael Stansbury, one of the two accusers, that if he told anybody they' ll think you are a liar because a priest is somebody just beneath God.

The jury began their deliberations at 1:45 p.m.

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