Monday, February 20, 2012

New Evidence Comes to Light in the Bizarre Case of Father Gordon MacRae

Father Gordon MacRae is an imprisoned priest (accused of sexual abuse of a minor) here in my home state of New Hampshire. I first became aware of Fr. MacRae, who claims he was falsely accused, in 2010 after reading a few articles about his case online. In the beginning, I chalked this case up to "just another prisoner refusing to accept responsibility for his mistakes and claiming innocence despite all the evidence against him".

The problem was...there WAS no evidence against him.

 Nothing.

 Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Sounds a bit unbelievable, I know, but true, nonetheless. I didn't find this out until I studied his case files (along with other documents I found online and old newspaper articles about the trial) myself and realized that there was a strong possibility that this man might very well be innocent. I wrote a series of articles about this priest who claims that he was falsely accused and continued to read everything I could find about his case.

Today I received an e-mail from Spero News columnist, Ryan A MacDonald, who has written numerous articles about this falsely accused priest, including a number of articles on his blog - A Ram in the Thicket. The e-mail related the news that new evidence has been brought to light in Fr. MacRae's case. Evidence that is strong enough to exonerate him. You can read it here:
http://www.themediareport.com/2012/02/20/new-evidence-may-exonerate-priest-gordon-j-macrae/.
After reading the article I couldn't help thinking how little evidence it took to convict him and how much evidence was needed to exonerate him.  Scary, isn't it? Especially in a country where the judicial system works on the premise "innocent until proven guilty".

Words fail me.

9 comments:

  1. Mary just shows you how close the coming of Christ is upon us. Our laws and courts are so screwed up. Our morals have gone out the window.

    Thank you for sharing this post with the links.

    Blessings.

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  2. It's a crazy world out there, JBR. This man has spent the last seventeen years in prison for a crime that never happened. No one can give those years back to him. It's heartbreaking.

    Congratulations on your new blog!

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  3. Thank you dear one. Thank you for standing up for others as well. Blessings.

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  4. And thank YOU, my friend. Your courage inspires me.

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  5. Wow! I'm at a loss. Things are getting bad. My 12 year old said to me just today how she was glad we in America have freedom of speech. I had to sigh to myself. All I could think about was how that is questionable! So much can be taken away so fast!

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  6. Thank you for this article. I have kept out of this discussion for obvious reasons. But this evidence may change how I feel.
    The problem with this kind of case (for people in my shoes) is that people who were really abused may not be believed. There is just a very small minority of people who falsely accuse but they can grab all the attention. They hurt the people they accuse, their families and friends and they hurt those of us who have been abused.
    In many ways, these people who falsely accuse someone really abuse us victims too.
    If Father MacRae is really innocent, then my heart goes out to him. I will pray for him.
    I will probably blog about this when I get time and get my act together about it. I am really upset, to put it mildly.

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  7. Hi Colleen,
    I know things like this are very difficult for you to hear about and understandably so. As an advocate for those who have been abused I'm sure you're outraged when you hear of cases like these and I agree that those who falsely accuse others abuse the real victims of these terrible crimes and they also bring horrendous suffering on those they falsely accuse. I also can't understand how someone can have so little care for others that they would let an innocent man rot in prison like this. It also makes it harder for true abuse victims. This case is unusual, to say the least. I still can't figure out how he was convicted. Sadly, a lot of the evidence that would acquit him was suppressed in his trial. There is so much evidence of his innocence that it cannot be ignored anymore though.

    Thanks for commenting, Colleen. You and JBR have immense courage and compassion to be able to read this post when I know you have both suffered at the hands of abusers. It must be very hard to read about. You are both in my prayers. +++ (My pup Caesar just stepped on the keyboard and made the plus signs. I left them because they look like little crosses and seem fitting for this comment. You, JBR, and FR. MacRae are all carrying very heavy crosses and I pray for healing for each of you. God bless you, my friend.)

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  8. Father MacRae's case is one of denial of justice. My take away is never trust the cops because they facilitated a false conviction. What is even more remarkable is that if he had admitted to doing something he didn't do, he would have been out of jail in two years. I'm glad he stood strong and didn't trade a lie for freedom. The other aspect of this case is the egregious behavior of the diocesan bishops toward him. At least he has not been defrocked. What will the bishop of New Hampshire do now on his behalf? Sadly, there are other priests who have been falsely accused, too. It must be a shattering experience.

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