January 27, 2005

Gag order in priest abuse case mulled

Fairbanks News-Miner

Staff Writer

The Rev. James Poole admitted to sexually abusing young girls in a deposition he gave last year, according to the lawyer for two of the three women who have made claims against the former Catholic priest and the Fairbanks Diocese.

Attorney Ken Roosa said Poole admitted to molesting Jane Doe 1, among others, and called himself "the great lover of the world" while answering questions under oath in September.

Attorneys for Poole and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, have requested the deposition and thousands of documents be sealed to save Poole unnecessary embarrassment and to protect the pool of potential jurors. Roosa gave a quick list of Poole's admissions Wednesday as he argued against a gag order in the courtroom of Bethel Superior Court Judge Dale Curda.

He noted defense attorneys have not told the court of Poole's admissions, which run contrary to previous filings in which the 81-year-old former priest, who now lives in Spokane, Wash., denied the allegations of Jane Doe.

"Yet no single attorney involved in this case from the defense perspective has seen fit to attach an addenda or in any way inform the court that in fact Father Poole did admit doing every single act that Jane Doe alleged in her complaint," Roosa told Curda.

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:44 AM