January 30, 2005

Ex-priest's attorney requests trial move

Fairbanks News-Miner

Staff Writer

The attorney for the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska has requested that a Bethel Superior Court judge move the trial of a former priest accused of sexual abuse out of the southwestern Alaska town.

In his motion, Bob Groseclose asked Judge Dale Curda to consider holding the Nov. 15 trial in Anchorage or Nome, two locations he said better fit the civil suit filed by Jane Doe 1 against the Rev. James Poole.

Chief among his complaints about a trial in Bethel was the expense of flying the accused and his accuser, their lawyers and witnesses to the Kuskokwim River Delta rather than the more centrally located Anchorage. Short of the state's largest city, Groseclose also argued that Nome is a more fitting trial site since most of the abuse Jane Doe 1 accuses Poole of occurred in that Bering Sea coast town.

"What the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska wants is to be treated like litigants are generally treated at trial," Groseclose said. "We don't want to travel to Bethel if there is no reason to."

In his response, Jane Doe attorney Ken Roosa produced a list of 50 potential witnesses who live in the Bethel district. Roosa wrote that Bethel is more appropriate because some of the charges Jane Doe made occurred in the Bethel area and the Fairbanks Diocese, one of four defendants, is based within the state's 4th Judicial District.

Posted by kshaw at January 30, 2005 09:22 AM