After serving just six months of a fifteen year sentence for sexually molesting an altar boy nearly forty years ago, former local Catholic priest James Schook has asked to be freed from prison under the terms of shock probation. Whether that request will be granted will be decided in a December hearing.
In a motion filed in support of this request, defense attorney David Lambertus said, "Mr. Schook now realizes the importance of obeying and conforming to the community's rules." Funny how he finally came to that realization only after getting an actual taste of life behind bars.
What I'm really hearing here is that Mr. Schook only realized the importance of “obeying and conforming to the community's rules” when failing to do so finally affected him. Apparently, throughout the four decades before he was finally caught and convicted, he believed that “obeying and conforming” was only for saps.
Six months in jail is an insultingly small price to pay for having inflicted such damage on another person. And make no mistake about it, this isn't about Mr. Schook's sexual preferences, but the fact that he used a position of trusted authority to abuse a minor directly under his control.
Maybe shock probation will be appropriate at some later date. But I believe Mr. Schook's debt is still largely unpaid, and I hope the judge agrees in that December hearing.