May 21, 2005

Accused priest tries to block media coverage

Green Bay Press-Gazette

By Andy Nelesen
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Press-Gazette has filed a protest to an accused pedophile priest’s efforts to bar media coverage of his court case.

Donald Buzanowski, 62, faces two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child. He is accused of fondling a 10-year-old boy while serving as a counselor at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School in Green Bay. Buzanowski’s attorney, Owen Monfils, filed a motion April 6 asking to bar reporters from hearings leading up to trial.

Buzanowski’s motion claimed that information argued during motion hearings could prejudice potential jurors in the case. Brown County Circuit Judge J.D. McKay has resisted a change of venue in the case or the option of bringing in jurors from another county.

Buzanowski, who is still a priest, remains in custody in the Brown County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Buzanowski has not served as a priest since 1989, and the Green Bay diocese has asked the Vatican to laicize Buzanowski. Officials in Rome have not yet acted, however.

Joseph Thornton, the attorney representing the newspaper, said WLUK-TV Channel 11 has asked to join in the protest, but documents to that effect have not been prepared.

Posted by kshaw at May 21, 2005 09:02 AM