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Spotlight Report

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Newspaper to challenge church subpoena

By Michael S. Rosenwald, Globe Staff, 10/14/2002

A lawyer for The New York Times Co. yesterday said the publisher will quickly move to quash a subpoena issued last week to a Worcester Telegram & Gazette reporter by the Worcester Diocese.

Kathleen A. Shaw, a religion reporter with the newspaper, which is owned by The New York Times Co., is scheduled to be deposed Nov. 11 in connection with sexual abuse allegations against Auxiliary Bishop George Rueger.

James G. Reardon Jr., the lawyer for the Roman Catholic diocese, has also asked Shaw to turn over notes, e-mails, and photographs that she has gathered on the Rueger case, including his alleged victim, Sime Braio, and Braio's attorney Daniel J. Shea.

"It's inappropriate and inconsistent with the First Amendment for the diocese to use the newspaper as a witness and a helper to their case," said George Freeman, assistant general counsel to The New York Times Co., which also owns the Globe.

Reardon, however, said the reporter "is a material witness who has spoken with the alleged victim." He said there is no risk of her betraying her sources' confidences because she has already made their names and stories public in the newspaper.

Shea, who represents the alleged victim in the suit filed against Rueger, 72, last July in Worcester Superior Court, agreed with Freeman and called the subpoena an attempt to violate freedom of the press, which is protected by the First Amendment.

Braio, 52, of Shrewsbury, says he was molested by Rueger as an altar boy at Our Lady of Lourdes in Worcester and the Lyman School for Boys in Westborough. Rueger denies the allegations.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

This story ran on page B2 of the Boston Globe on 10/14/2002.
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