|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||
Cardinal's deposition transcripts to be released
By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, 08/06/02
BOSTON -- The long-awaited transcripts of Cardinal Bernard Law's first two days of testimony in sexual abuse lawsuits against retired priest Paul Shanley will be released publicly next week, under a ruling issued Tuesday.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney said transcripts of Law's testimony during a deposition on June 5 and June 7 must be filed with the court on August 13, the same day Law's deposition about Shanley is scheduled to continue.
Sweeney granted the archdiocese's request to postpone the continuation of the deposition, which had been scheduled to go forward Wednesday.
Attorney Jeffrey Newman, who represents the alleged Shanley victims, said it could take at least several days to finish Law's deposition.
Shanley, 71, became a key figure in the church sexual abuse scandal earlier this year when the archdiocese released personnel files indicating that church officials had received complaints about Shanley going back to 1967.
He was indicted in June on 10 counts of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery, charged with abusing boys from 1979 to 1989 while he was a priest at a church in Newton. He has pleaded innocent to the charges.
In other developments Tuesday, lawyers for alleged abuse victims of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan presented their final witnesses in a hearing to determine whether the archdiocese must honor a settlement agreement worth up to $30 million.
The archdiocese was expected to present its own witnesses Wednesday, followed by closing arguments from both sides.
Lawyers for 86 alleged victims of Geoghan have asked Sweeney to order the archdiocese to honor the $15 million to $30 million agreement, which the archdiocese announced in March.
In May, the archdiocese's finance council refused to fund the settlement, saying it could not afford it in light of hundreds of other pending or expected sexual abuse lawsuits against priests.
Law, testifying at the hearing last week, insisted he had never considered the agreement to be final because it required signatures of the victims as well as the archdiocese's finance committee.
Attorneys for the alleged victims claim the agreement is binding.
On Tuesday, attorney William Gordon testified that archdiocese officials repeatedly assured him and other members of his law firm during settlement negotiations that they had enough insurance money to cover the settlement agreement.
"We always understood they were going to sign," Gordon said.
Also testifying Tuesday was the Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese, who acknowledged that he told The Boston Globe that Law intended to sign the agreement.