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Another Settlement Reached in Alleged Westport Priest Sex Abuse Case

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has settled another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a priest, this one involving a clergymans actions while serving at WestportҒs Assumption Church.
The claims against the Rev. Joseph Moore were settled separately from a $21 million deal reached last week to settle claims by 40 people who accused 16 priests of abuse, according to todays Connecticut Post.
Five of those priests had also served at Assumption. A total of seven priests involved in church sex abuse claims have served in Westport since the 60s, according to a Bridgeport law firm tracking the cases.
Joseph McAleer, a spokesman for the diocese, would not disclose the amount of the new settlement at the plaintiff’s request. He said money for the settlements are coming from insurance and the sale of undeveloped surplus diocesan property.


Flashback: Bishop William Lori announces a $21 million sex abuse settlement at a Bridgeport news conference last week. WestportNow.com photo

Moore, who served at Assumption in the early 70s, declined to comment when reached at his home in Rutland, Vt., according to the AP.
Bruce Gordon, a Bridgeport lawyer representing the plaintiff, also refused to comment.
When the settlement was reached was not immediately clear. It apparently was reached at the same time the lawsuit was filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, the Post reported.
The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, says he was sexually assaulted several times by Moore at Assumption between 1973 and 1975 when he was a child.
The lawsuit alleges that diocesan officials learned that Moore had abused children but assigned him to Assumption Church anyway, where he still had access to children.
In 2001, the diocese settled another claim against Moore, who was accused of molesting a boy at St. Mary Parish in Bethel in the early 1980s.
McAleer said Moore was removed from ministry in 1997 and has no authorization to serve as a priest.
Last week’s settlement included one priest picked up by Westport police in 1968 for allegedly molesting a boy in his car. (WestportNow, Oct. 16, 2003)
Details of that settlement were announced by Bishop William Lori. The settlement was the second in two years for the diocese. It had reached a financial settlement in 2001 involving five priests and 26 plaintiffs.
Lori told a Bridgeport news conference that with the latest $21 million settlement, the diocese now has agreed to pay out $37.7 million in such claims.

Westport Teen Pleads Guilty in Sex Assault Case

Westport Teen Pleads Guilty in Sex Assault Case
A Westport youth has pleaded guilty for having sex with two Westport girls, one 12 years old and the other 14.

Chrisopher Douze, now 18, entered his plea Tuesday in Superior Court in Norwalk. He was 16 when he committed the crimes in May and August 2002.

He will be sentenced in January to at least two and a half years in prison.

Listening to the Candidates at

Listening to the Candidates at Staples


Staples students hosted Board of Education candidates at a forum tonight in the school library. Many of the questions focused on Staples issues including advanced placement classes, the school’s increasing enrollment, and possibly having a Staples student serve on the school board. WestportNow.com photo

New Political Action Committee Files Registration

New Political Action Committee Files Registration
A new political action committee supporting Board of Education candidates Edward Bowers and Stephen Rubin filed an initial registration statement today with Town Clerk Patricia H. Strauss.

The committee, Campaign for a Responsive Board of Education, said it would collect campaign funds on behalf of Bowers, running on the Republican line, and Rubin, who is a petitioning candidate.

The committee registration statement listed its principals as Nancy Burke, Diana Coyne, Laura Gallagher Lahey, and Alexandra Reardon.

Martha Stewart Wins Legal Victory

Martha Stewart won a legal victory today with a federal court judge ruling that prosecutors may not use an e-mail she wrote to her lawyer last year as evidence at her forthcoming trial on insider trading-related charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled the Westport resident did not waive the e-mail’s protected status when she forwarded it to her daughter, Alexis, a day after sending it to her attorney.

The e-mail, dated June 23, 2002, contains Stewart’s account of why she sold ImClone Systems stock in late 2001. The sale was under investigation in 2002, and Stewart was later indicted on five criminal counts.

A federal prosecutor came across the e-mail earlier this year in preparation for Stewart’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 12, and asked the judge to clarify whether it could be used as evidence.

Cedarbaum ruled the e-mail deserved the legal protection of attorney work product —a designation that means the government cannot use it as evidence at her trial.

The judge said the e-mail does not disclose Stewart’s legal strategy, but she rejected the government’s argument that the e-mail “would have taken the same form if created for a nonlitigation purpose.”

In an affidavit, Stewart called her daughter “the closest person in the world to me.”

“She is a valued confidante and counselor to me,” Stewart said. “In sharing the e-mail with her, I knew that she would keep its content strictly confidential.”

The government says Stewart sold ImClone shares on Dec. 27, 2001, because she was tipped that the family of ImClone founder Sam Waksal, a Stewart friend, was trying to sell its shares.