Trial date set for two priests accused of trespassing on fort Print
Thursday, 10 May 2007 00:00
TUCSON — A trial for two priests accused of trespassing on Fort Huachuca last year is scheduled for June 6 in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The Rev. Louis Vitale and the Rev. Stephen Kelly are charged with illegally entering the post on Nov. 19 with the goal of presenting a letter to Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, commander of the Intelligence Center and the fort, in which they alleged torture is being taught on the installation.

They also wanted to speak to enlisted military members.

Both men took part in an anti-torture rally across from the post’s Main Gate. A counter-rally also occurred at the same time.

Near the end of the rally, both priests walked across Buffalo Soldier Trail and headed for the fort’s entrance.

At one point, federal law officials approached them, and the two men were eventually escorted, detained and charged before being released on their own recognizance.

Vitale, a Franciscan priest, is a member of Pace e Bene, a non-violence service, and co-founder of the Nevada Experience and School of the Americas Watch Prisoner of Conscience.

Kelly, a Jesuit priest, has served prison time for civil disobedience actions while participating in Plowshare disarmament actions. In December 2005, he served as chaplain for Witness to Torture, a delegation which marched through Cuba to the gates of the U.S. installation at Guantanamo Bay.

If convicted of trespassing and another charge of failing to obey an officer’s order, both men face 10 months in federal prison.

Herald/Review senior reporter Bill Hess can be reached at 515-4615 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2007 13:11