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Priest who Abused CNN's Thomas Roberts Given Lighter Sentence

CNN Anchor Thomas Roberts expressed disappointment at a decision by Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II to approve a request from Roman Catholic priest Jerome F. Toohey Jr. to serve out the final eight months of an 18-month prison sentence for sexual abuse in home detention rather than in prison.

Thomasroberts_2Toohey pleaded guilty in 2005 to sexually abusing Roberts between 1987 and 1989 when Roberts was a student at Calvert Hall College High School, a Catholic school for boys. At that time, evidence from a previously dismissed suit by another former student, Michael Goles, was used to obtain a stricter sentence for Toohey. That sentence has all but been erased.

Said Roberts: "I was let down by a trusted system (the Roman Catholic church) years ago. I fear today that I will be let down again. This was a lenient sentence."

Goles expressed dismay at the recent decision: "Thomas and I don't get early release. We're stuck with life sentences for what we suffered."

Toohey, whose behavior his lawyer claimed was the "byproduct of severe alcoholism", has been kept in solitary confinement because of threats of violence from other prisoners.

Roberts came out of the closet earlier this year at the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association conference in Miami.

CNN's Thomas Roberts Comes Out at Gay Journo Confab [tr]

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  1. Daniel,

    My point is not that Americans in general do not take this issue seriously, but that the American justice system does not seem to give significantly fitting punishments for such acts of child molestation. I am trying to say that I am not sure exactly why. Society as a whole obviously considers child abuse a serious issue, so why does the legal system not convey this? Unless you want to tell me that an 18 month sentence is fitting for over 2 years of abuse of a student you are supposed to be counselling.

    Although, I suppose people should not be surprised at the level of corruption in the Catholic Church; the Pope himself used to be the in charge of keeping cases of child molestation quiet from the public.

    And the Church is going to save MY soul?

    Posted by: JimmyJack | Dec 12, 2006 2:53:00 PM

  2. Jimmyjack, my comment was sarcasm. I assumed that that was obvious but I should know by now what happens when one assumes.

    Posted by: Zeke | Dec 12, 2006 3:55:19 PM

  3. Sorry. Irony doesn't often translate well into print.

    Posted by: JimmyJack | Dec 12, 2006 4:14:06 PM

  4. BTW Zeke, I actually think your comment was funny. I was referring to the legal system not taking the issue seriously. I got the irony part.

    This is the last time I ever post.

    Posted by: JimmyJack | Dec 12, 2006 4:18:51 PM

  5. Cliff, if I could hug you right now I'd hug you hard.

    Posted by: Derrick | Dec 13, 2006 9:44:05 AM

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