- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014
15 years in prison for priest convicted of abuse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A former Catholic priest dying of cancer was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy at a church, with a judge saying it was time for the former clergyman to “face the consequences.”

James Schook, who sought several delays to his criminal case, glanced at his family members in the courtroom before being taken into custody Friday morning.

Schook, 66, made no statements and did not testify during his April trial in Louisville.

The trial had been repeatedly delayed after Schook was indicted on sex abuse charges in 2011. He had argued that he was too frail from late-stage skin cancer and on too many medications to stand trial.

During the sentencing hearing, Schook’s attorney, David Lambertus, urged the judge to keep Schook out of prison by allowing him to serve out his term on probation. Lambertus also asked if Schook could remain out of prison on bond while his case is appealed.

“It would make a joke of the appeal if Mr. Schook goes to prison, dies there and then an appeals court” finds an error in the criminal trial, Lambertus said.


Paul not sure what would happen to state exchange

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul favors repealing the Affordable Care Act but said Friday he doesn’t know if rescinding the federal law would affect the 421,000 Kentuckians who are insured through state’s exchange.

The possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 discussed the health care law with reporters after speaking to the Franklin County Republican Women’s Club.

“I would repeal all of Obamacare,” Paul said. “The technical question though is whether or not - and I think this is why it’s not an easy answer - the technical question is what would that mean? Can a state still have an exchange? We live in a 50 state union, so some states could have exchanges. They already did before Obamacare.”

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has defended the state-run exchange, which has been embraced as a success among residents in the state where the federal law is unpopular. Meanwhile, the state’s other Republican U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell, has said state officials could choose what to do with the exchange if the federal law were repealed.

Kentucky was among the states that chose to run its own exchange under the law, while other states left operation of the online marketplace up to the federal government. The marketplaces help people select insurance plans and determine if they are eligible for subsidies to lower their costs.

Under the health overhaul, states also had the choice of whether to expand Medicaid with the federal government paying most of the extra costs. Beshear chose to expand the joint federal and state health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

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