May 06, 2006

Catholic church wants judge removed in case

Rutland Herald

May 6, 2006

The Associated Press

BURLINGTON 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."

Joseph would not comment on the church's request after receiving the sealed motion. The trial is expected to start July 1.

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2006 07:51 AM