February 18, 2006

Judge orders all abuse evidence be turned over

Fairbanks News-Miner


A Nome Superior Court judge ordered the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, to produce missing evidence requested by attorneys in the sexual abuse lawsuit filed by Jane Doe 2.

Judge Ben Esch did not issue a ruling Friday during the second day of an evidentiary hearing. Defense attorneys made their case that the civil suit should be dropped against the diocese and Jesuits because the statue of limitations has expired.

Esch severed the Rev. James Poole from the case in December, ruling Jane Doe 2 waited too long to report alleged sexual abuse. She claims Poole abused her repeatedly, got her pregnant at the age of 14, then suggested she have an abortion.

Trial is scheduled for Feb. 27. Esch said he hopes to have a ruling in the case by Tuesday. In the meantime, he ordered the diocese and Jesuits to immediately turn over documents requested by the defense. Attorney Ken Roosa has asked the court for sanctions after church officials recently turned over thousands of documents.

For the Jesuits, that means 5,300 e-mails, a privileged e-mail log and notebooks used by the Rev. John Whitney, Oregon Jesuit provincial.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2006 08:27 AM