Sunday, March 25, 2007

Verdict Puts Blame Where It Belongs

I'm glad this case was resolved with a conviction.

For years, Janet Goodner blamed herself for the sexual relationship she had with former Roman Catholic priest Bruce Ewing in the 1970s, when Goodner was a teenager. "I felt that I corrupted a Catholic priest," Goodner said in an interview.

But yesterday, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury put the blame on Ewing, finding him guilty of third-degree rape after deliberating for less than two hours. The jury -- made up of six men and six women -- acquitted Ewing on two charges of sodomy.
Ewing, 59, hung his head after the rape verdict was read. [...]

The prosecution and defense later agreed on a sentence of three years in prison or, if McDonald decides to grant probation, a five-year sentence if Ewing violates the conditions of his release. Had Ewing been found guilty of all the charges, he could have been sentenced to as many as 15 years in prison.

"I would like to see him serve some time," Goodner said after the verdict. "I've served a lot of years."
I'm sure the priest deliberately shifted responsibility for his actions onto his victim so she would be filled with misplaced guilt. Doing so would help him rationalize his actions and it would make it much less likely that she would report his abusive behavior.

Oh, those tempting women who make men sin by merely being nearby. Oh, those who blame the victim not the victimizer.
In his closing arguments yesterday, Ewing's attorney, David Lambertus, noted that numerous friends and co-workers from throughout Ewing's life testified that he was a caring and trusted person.
Rather than strengthening the case, this description helps explain how he could get away with the abuse for so long. Some caring and trusted people live up to their image, but others exploit their image and the trust others give them.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:03 AM   0 comments links to this post


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