March 11, 2006

Records on ex-priest won't include accusers' IDs

Fort Worth Star-Telegram


FORT WORTH — State District Judge Len Wade ruled Friday that records concerning a former Arlington priest accused of sexual misconduct with seven women and girls will be opened to the public after details, including accusers’ identities, are removed.
Wade ruled last month that he would release the files of six other priests in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese who have been accused of sexual misconduct since the diocese was founded in 1969. But he postponed a decision on how to handle the records of the Rev. Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen, who now serves in Houston.
At a hearing last month, Tu’s attorney, H. Allen Pennington Jr., told the judge that two of the priest’s accusers included in the files did not want to be involved in the case. Within a week, the two women involved filed court documents saying that they wanted the records opened and that they had not talked to Tu’s attorney.
“After reviewing the files relating to Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen, the court has decided that the files are court records and the record is insufficient to rebut the presumption of openness,” Wade wrote Friday in a letter to attorneys.

Posted by kshaw at March 11, 2006 08:14 AM