Monday, February 20, 2012

Father Gordon MacRae - Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest

  • Rev. Gordon J. MacRae, sentenced to 33½ to 67 years, has been in the New Hampshire State Prison For Men since 1994 on abuse charges.
  • Newly released signed statements in a recent court motion contend that the primary accuser, Thomas Grover, made up the accusations to extract money from the Church.
  • Grover's former stepson: "On several occasions, Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae."
  • Grover's former wife: Grover is a "compulsive liar" and a "manipulator" who "can tell a lie and stick to it 'til its end." Most notably, Grover "never stated one word of abuse by [MacRae]."
  • Former friend of Grover and accuser who recanted: I knew "full well that it was [all] bogus … I did not want to lie or make up stories."
  • Former drug and alcohol counselor for Grover: Accuser Grover claimed abuse "by so many disparate people that his credibility in the [counseling] program was seriously in doubt"; Grover seemed like "he was going for some kind of sexual abuse victim world record." Plus, aggressive New Hampshire detectives applied "coercion, intimidation, veiled and more forward threats" and "threats of arrest" upon the counselor to try to extract a false incrimination of MacRae from her.
  • Courtroom spectators during Fr. MacRae's 1994 trial: A therapist hired by Grover's contingency lawyer used hand signals from the back of the courtroom to coach Grover on the witness stand.
  • Veteran FBI detective, after three-year private investigation: "I discovered no evidence of MacRae having committed the crimes charged, or any other crimes."
  • Plus: A lengthy criminal rap sheet of accuser Grover reveals numerous arrests, before and after trial: multiple forgeries, multiple thefts, multiple burglaries, and assault on a police officer (after breaking his future ex-wife's nose). The jury at the trial never heard any of this.
  • and more.
Eye-popping new evidence is shining a new light on one of the most disputed cases of the entire Catholic Church abuse narrative.

Rev. Gordon J. MacRae and his attorneys have filed a motion for a new trial in New Hampshire based on astonishing new declarations.

The motion for a new trial contains multiple, uncollaborated signed statements from a number of people who were close to accuser Thomas Grover at the time Fr. MacRae's 1994 criminal trial, and these statements indicate that Grover perpetrated a massive fraud in falsely accusing the cleric of abuse.

1. The motion contains an astonishing 2008 signed statement from the former stepson of accuser Grover, who was in the company of Grover for a period of years before, during, and after Fr. MacRae's 1994 criminal trial:
"[O]ver a number of months and years, Thomas Grover discussed the sex abuse allegations of [Father] Gordon MacRae with me. Grover often stated to me that he was going to set MacRae and the church up to gain money for sexual abuse. Grover would laugh and joke about this scheme
"On several occasions Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae.
"Grover, on several occasions, called his civil case attorneys for money or cash advances on his expected cash award and Grover told me that his attorneys directed him to go for psychiatric and drug therapy to gain jury appeal in his court case."
[Click here to read this man's signed statement]

2. The motion also contains statements from the former wife of accuser Grover. According to this woman, Grover is a "compulsive liar" and a "manipulator," "who can tell a lie and stick to it 'til its end."
She also has claimed:
  • Grover asked her to marry him in 1994 "because it would look better and, more importantly, he needed the security of a wife for a trial."
  • In the entire time the pair were together, "never once did [Grover] say he was abused by MacRae."
  • Grover claimed that his monetary civil suit was to pay for his needed therapy, but once he received his sizable settlement ($195,000 in 1997), he never returned to therapy again.
[Click here to see relevant court documents related to Grover's former wife.]

3. Also included in the file is a 2008 signed statement from a former friend of Grover who recanted his bogus claims of abuse by MacRae. The statement shockingly suggests that the lead detective in Fr. Gordon's New Hampshire case, James McLaughlin, attempted to manipulate the young man into making a false accusation:
"I was aware at the time of [Father] Gordon's trial knowing full well that it was bogus and having heard of the lawsuits and money involved, also the reputations of those who were making accusations.
"I agreed to meet with the [detectives] after being told I would be reimbursed for my time/gas money …  [Detective] McLaughlin had me believing that all I had to do is make up a story about Gordon and I could receive a large sum of money as others already had. McLaughlin reminded me of the young child and girlfriend I had and referenced that life could be easier for us with a large amount of money.
"I knew of the Grovers' reputation as well as others involved, many of whom I went to school with. It seemed as though it would be easy money if I would also accuse Gordon of wrongdoing. I left that meeting after being given I believe $50, easy money, like what would come from lawsuits against MacRae."
Fortunately, after being subpoenaed, the man had a change of feelings. "I did not want to lie or make up stories … Gordon had never done anything wrong towards me," the man has written.

[Click here to read this man's handwritten statement]

Update March 2015:  Fr. Gordon MacRae: Federal Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Habeas Corpus Appeal


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