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You are here News Domestic (USA) US priest accused of raping teen in 1975 not fit to stand trial, psychiatrists say

US priest accused of raping teen in 1975 not fit to stand trial, psychiatrists say

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Priest accused of rape is not fit to stand trial

A 92-year-old retired Catholic priest charged with strangling a teenager and raping him in a New Orleans church in 1975 has short-term memory loss that prevents him from assisting in his defense, according to a team of forensic psychiatrists whose findings could influence whether one of Louisiana’s most prominent cases of clergy abuse is ever tried.

In a report which has not been publicly released but was reviewed Tuesday by WWL Louisiana and the Guardian, the psychiatrists said the priest – Lawrence Hecker – should not be tried for now on rape, kidnapping, crimes against nature and theft charges until he is re-evaluated later.

However, the report found Hecker’s mental health is good enough that he could recover his competence to stand trial after a relatively short time. It called for him to be re-evaluated in a matter of months, after he is given a chance to recover from various physical ailments and to be given treatment by the state’s mental health hospital.

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