May 05, 2006

Catholic church wants judge removed in priest abuse case


BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Vermont's Catholic church wants a judge to step down from a clergy sex abuse case.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington said Judge Ben Joseph's decision to remove a gag order involving church paperwork in a recently settled case make it difficult for the church to have a fair trial.

David Cleary, the church's attorney, said lifting the gag order has led to widespread media coverage.

"It is now absolutely impossible for the diocese to receive a fair trial in these matters because of the pre-trial publicity surrounding these events," the court motion said. "The present court (Judge Ben Joseph) should recuse himself from this case."

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2006 09:00 AM