“Like I’m Jeffrey Dahmer, I’m not,” said a priest while locked up in an Ohio holding cell. He had been arrested for a repeat DUI, and officials decided to videotape the defendant while he was in custody. The video has reached numerous people online, intensifying the priest’s already deep-felt shame about his behavior.
According to reports, the defendant, a 35-year-old beloved priest, was pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving last Friday. He and his defense attorney are now fighting to save his name from the crippling effect of a third drunk driving charge. The attorney argues that the defendant is sick and needs treatment, which is why he has checked himself into a Maryland rehabilitation center.
The defendant’s attorney reports that the priest understands that he is an alcoholic who needs help with his addiction. Not only does a drunk driving allegation quickly put the general public against someone, but the recording of the priest in the jail cell has made it into the media sphere, making it even harder for him to recover from the stigma he faces after the arrest.
His defense attorney emphasizes that the priest is “a good man” with strong, positive ties to his community and beyond. Too often, the good in someone is hastily dismissed by the public when there’s any suspicion of driving under the influence. But like the defendant insisted in the notorious video, he is no serial killer. He deserves a fair shot at justice and reclaiming his life.
News sources report that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the drunk driving charge and will spend time in a Maryland treatment facility for his reported alcohol addiction. His driver’s license has been suspended. The case is not scheduled to continue in court until May.
Newsnet5.com: “Attorney: Priest videotaped while drunk is ‘extremely remorseful,” Bob Jones, 4 Mar. 2011
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