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Spotlight Report

Actions of Reardon supervisor at issue

By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff, 4/24/2002

The supervisor of Christopher Reardon, a youth worker in a Middleton Catholic church who was convicted of sexually abusing dozens of boys, met with a Boston Archdiocese official months before Reardon's arrest to discuss concerns about his behavior, a lawyer for Reardon's victims told a judge yesterday.

''At some time, months before June of 2000, it is my understanding that Father Jon C. Martin had a meeting on the Reardon allegations with Bishop [Francis X.] Irwin,'' the lawyer, Jeffrey Newman, said after the hearing.

Newman, who is suing Martin and the archdiocese for negligence, asked Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas E. Connolly yesterday to order that Martin's medical records and personnel file be turned over to him.

''My position is that that we have to find out whether the church appropriately vested Rev. Martin with the responsibility of taking care of the kids,'' Newman said. ''The only way we can really do that is to examine the personnel file and see if there is anything in his records to determine he wasn't adequate for the task.''

But Martin's lawyer, Timothy O'Neill, argued the files should be kept private. ''I am objecting to the release of any psychiatric records, based on patient-therapist privilege,'' O'Neill said after the hearing, adding that he might even object to the judge reviewing the files. Connolly is expected to rule tomorrow on the issue.

Reardon, a youth worker at St. Agnes Church and a YMCA swim instructor, pleaded guilty last June to molestation and pornography charges involving 24 boys and was sentenced to serve 40 to 50 years in prison. Martin, then pastor of St. Agnes, resigned after Reardon's arrest and disappeared from public life.

Farah Stockman can be reached at fstockman@globe.com.

This story ran on page A16 of the Boston Globe on 4/24/2002.
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