May 17, 2006

Judge still on priest abuse cases, defends decision to release church documents

Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph on Wednesday put off a decision on whether to withdraw as presiding judge in 19 pending priest sex abuse cases. His withdrawal is being sought by the Roman Catholic Diocese.

"I took the motion home but I haven't finished studying it," he said during an emergency court hearing convened to discuss whether to seal the church motion seeking his recusal, or removal from the case, as the diocese had also requested.

"Until I make a decision regarding the motion, the case is still assigned to me," Joseph said. "Just filing the motion does not mean I am removed from the case." Joseph said he did not receive the diocese's request that he step down until Monday morning.

Posted by kshaw at May 17, 2006 07:11 AM