AGAIN....

I feel crappy editorializing...but here goes anyway.

This ran almost word for word last week. Why run it again? Is the media upset that the judge decided not to release the names of the dead priests? Is the media the only hero on the survivors side? They seem to be the only ones interested in getting the word out. Why is the York County DA always "unavailable for comment" Is he too busy chasing and investigating the cases that are beyond the statute of limitations? Doubtful. If the DA and AG are afraid to try to take on the Church, why don't they just say so? "I'm gonna run for political office in November, and I don't want 'Sued Bishop, forced Diocese into Chapter 7' on my resume of political accomplishments" Do they realize that responsibility for all the victims, past present and future, lies in their "Court". "They say we need a hero, but I'm not gonna wait anymore"

Priest sex abuse cases unlikely to go to court

By , Associated Press

ęCopyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LEWISTON Ś Prosecutors in most of Maine's 16 counties say they do not expect to bring sexual assault charges against any of the Roman Catholic priests whose names were contained in documents from the diocese. Earlier this year, investigators for Attorney General Steven Rowe and Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson reviewed church records that contained allegations against priests going back 75 years.

The Attorney General's Office then turned the information over to the eight district attorneys responsible for prosecuting crimes at the state level.

The information has not been released publicly, but prosecutors have said that some of the accusations were against priests who are now dead.

Five of the district attorneys said a preliminary review of allegations yielded no cases they could bring to court for successful prosecution, largely because too much time has elapsed since the alleged crimes occurred.

Plans of the remaining three prosecutors were not immediately clear.

Anderson said her office is following up with investigations into four allegations of abuse.

In District 6, which includes Sagadahoc County, District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said he planned to withhold his findings for several weeks before announcing them publicly.

York County District Attorney Michael Cantara could not be reached for comment.

District Attorney Norm Croteau, whose office prosecutes cases in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, said he received files that contain allegations against about 10 priests.

A review by his office "does not indicate there will be any prosecutions," he said.

In some of the cases, allegations date back 50 years and cannot be prosecuted under the statute of limitations.

In 1991, the statute of limitations was eliminated for sexual abuse victims who were less 16 years old at the time of the crime.

Since the statute of limitations could not be eliminated retroactively, the cutoff date for prosecution of rape and gross sexual assault is Oct. 9, 1985, with a possible extension of up to five years for cases in which the defendant left the state.

Michael Povich, whose district includes Hancock and Washington counties, said his review "showed very little" evidence could be used against the five priests accused in his region.

David Crook, prosecutor for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said it was "extremely unlikely" his office would bring charges against any of the priests named in the half-dozen files forwarded to him.

R. Christopher Almy, district attorney for Penobscot and Piscataquis counties, said the cases he reviewed were simply too old to prosecute.

A combination of factors make it impossible to prosecute the cases in Aroostook County, according to District Attorney Neale Adams.

"I don't see anything that would cause me to go forward," he said.

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