Priest facing sex charges dying of cancer

June 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM
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LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 13 (UPI) -- The sex abuse trial of a Roman Catholic priest in Kentucky has been delayed while he has treatment for what is likely to be terminal cancer, a prosecutor says.

A doctor's letter included in court files said the Rev. James Schook has stage IV malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported Wednesday.

Schook, who may have less than a year to live, was to have gone to trial last month but a judge ordered a delay. Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney John Balliet said Schook might face trial in December if he is in better health, even if the improvement is only temporary.

Schook, 64, is charged with molesting two boys between 1971 and 1975. The Archdiocese of Louisville temporarily suspended him from ministry in 2009 and made it permanent a few months later, although he remains a priest.

Cal Pfeiffer of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who said he went to high school with Schook, urged an immediate trial.

"I'm certainly sorry for Jim that he's going through this cancer," Pfeiffer said. "But where's the justice for victims? They've never had their day in court. To me it's just a stalling tactic."

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