BALTIMORE – The man who alleges he was sexually molested years ago by a priest endured intense cross-examination last week from the defense. With his mother and aunt set to testify this week, there may be more uncomfortable days for him ahead.
Stokes repeatedly told jurors the abuse really happened, saying: "Mr. Blackwell did what I said he did to me."
But Stokes was questioned in detail by defense attorney Kenneth Ravenell, who argued that the Baltimore barber was a deeply disturbed young man who has trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Ravenell also suggested that Stokes made up the allegations as a way of dealing with his own sexual orientation crisis.
Stokes' mother, Tamara Morrison, and Stokes' aunt, Thomasine Wells, were among the witnesses expected to testify for the prosecution. The officer who initially investigated Stokes' accusations, Lt. Fred Roussey, also was set to testify, attorneys said Monday.
Blackwell is charged with four counts of child sex abuse. Stokes served home detention for shooting and wounding the former priest on a street in 2002.
Once a highly regarded pastor, Blackwell is accused of abusing Stokes between 1989 and 1992. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in prison.
Stokes reported the alleged abuse in 1993, at age 17, but prosecutors declined to press charges. Stokes testified that he did not report the abuse earlier because he didn't want Blackwell to be removed, because of his stature in the community.
Blackwell was returned to the church after receiving psychological counseling. The priest was stripped of his church authority in 1998, after acknowledging having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy in the early 1970s. Blackwell was defrocked by the Vatican (search) in October.