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Spotlight Report

Law tapes withheld pending hearing

By Matt Carroll, Globe Staff, 6/15/2002

A state Appeals Court judge in Boston yesterday barred the release of written transcripts and videotapes of Cardinal Bernard F. Law and two other bishops until another judge can hear the issue.

However, the ruling by Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Laurence was appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court later in the day by lawyers for alleged victims of the Rev. Paul R. Shanley and for the media. A hearing before a single justice has been requested for next week.

Laurence said the question of when the depositions can be released is up to Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney, who has been assigned all the cases of sexual abuse filed against the Archdiocese of Boston.

Laurence overturned a May 28 ruling by Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Brassard, who had said depositions by Law and two of his former top aides - New Hampshire Bishop John B. McCormack and Brooklyn Bishop Thomas V. Daily - could be released almost immediately after they were finished.

A lawyer for Law had argued that the early release of the transcripts could hurt Law's right to a fair trial. Lawyers for alleged victims of Shanley and news organizations, including The Boston Globe, have argued the public has a right to read each day of testimony.

In another matter, a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court put on hold the release of church documents related to the Rev. Jon C. Martin, the former pastor of a Middleton church where convicted child molester Christopher Reardon worked.

Justice John M. Greaney granted an emergency motion from Timothy P. O'Neill, Martin's lawyer, to halt the release of the documents to Jeffrey A. Newman, who represents a minor who was allegedly abused by Reardon. The matter is now in the justice's hands.

MATT CARROLL

This story ran on page A11 of the Boston Globe on 6/15/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing LLC.


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