Louisville priest indicted on sodomy charges

WDRB News, Kentucky/June 30, 2011

Louisville, Kentucky - A Louisville priest who has made headlines before has been indicted on seven charges of sodomy involving children.

A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Rev. James Schook. Police and prosecutors first began investigating the case in mid-2009.

The grand jury charged Shook with seven counts involving two alleged underaged male victims in 1971 and 1972. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Louisville.

Schook was temporarily removed from ministry in July 2009, when he was serving as pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Church on Rangeland Road. That's after complaints alleged he had committed sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2010, the Archdiocese of Louisville permanently suspended Schook after it found the claims were valid.

"...the Archdiocese of Louisville Sexual Abuse Review Board substantiated accusations of childhood sexual abuse that were made against him," said an Archdiocese statement.

"The Archdiocese of Louisville has cooperated with law enforcement officials as they have investigated accusations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and by other employees of the Church," and will continue to do so, according to the statement released Thursday.

Schook remains a priest, but he is not able to do public ministry.

Schook was also at the center of a recently dismissed lawsuit against the archdiocese. Part of that suit alleged the archdiocese did not follow proper protocol in allowing Schook to live at St. Therese, a Germantown parish, and potentially have contact with children. A judge dismissed the suit on constitutional grounds.

Cal Pfeiffer, representing the Louisville area chapter of SNAP, a church abuse survivors' group, said the lawsuit and related publicity about Schook "...does point out the carelessness of the Archdiocese of Louisville and the lack of concern in protecting our children from sexual predators."

For at least three years, SNAP has asked questions about Schook and what archdiocese officials knew about his past.

"What will his personnel file reveal? How could they justify allowing him to live at St. Therese? Heads ought to roll on College Street," Pfeiffer said in a statement.

College Street is the address for the offices for top archdiocese officials.

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