Judge declares church abuse case mistrial

Seattle Post-Intelligencer/September 3, 2004

Louisville, Ky. -- The trial of a former Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the 1970s ended in a mistrial Friday after the jury deadlocked.

Jurors deliberated for five hours before telling the judge that they could not reach a verdict in the case of Bruce Ewing, who was charged with rape and sodomy.

Ewing, who left the priesthood in 1977, could have faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He will remain free on bond.

Prosecutor Carol Cobb said she would reassess the case, which could go to trial again. "I think we put on a strong case considering this offense occurred over 25 years ago," she said.

Ewing's accuser said the former priest sexually abused her when she was a teenager in 1974. Ewing testified Thursday that he never had sex with her.

Ewing's attorney, David Lambertus, declined to comment.

Ewing had been a priest at St. Vincent DePaul Church and was employed by the Louisville archdiocese. Last year, the archdiocese agreed to pay $25.7 million to nearly 250 alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Roman Catholic church.

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