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Old 09-28-2004, 11:40 AM   #1
Nightwing
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In this whole article he never says it didn't happen, yet justice can't be done because he kept it secret for too long. I don't think I would trust a hand picked clinic from the church to do rehab for these jerks. It is beyond me how they get away with this and the church does not take a firm stand on this issue. The church can forgive them if they want but that doesn't mean they have to let be involved in any way with the church. Forgive them and send them to jail and let them take thier chances there.

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D.A. refuses to prosecute indicted Bishop
Bishop charged with molesting boys
Monday, September 27, 2004 Posted: 4:25 PM EDT (2025 GMT)

Bishop Thomas Dupre announces a policy for the protection of children in this 2003 photo.

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) -- A district attorney said Monday that he would not prosecute Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Dupre on child rape charges because the statute of limitations has expired in the case.

In an indictment unsealed Monday, Dupre was charged with molesting two boys in the 1970s, becoming the first Roman Catholic bishop to face criminal charges in the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the American church.

However, the grand jury returned indictments only related directly to child abuse, and not to other possible charges, such as witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Without those indictments, Hampden District Attorney William Bennett said he was precluded from pursuing the case because the statute of limitations in force at the time of the alleged crimes was limited to six years.

"Even with probable cause, there was a strong possibility that prosecution of such allegations could be barred by the statute of limitations," Bennett said in a news conference hours after the indictment was unsealed.

Dupre, 70, cited health reasons when he resigned in February after nine years as head of the Springfield Diocese. But his departure came one day after The Republican newspaper of Springfield confronted him with allegations he abused two boys while he was a parish priest.

The indictment was handed up by a grand jury Friday and unsealed Monday morning.

Bennett said the grand jury was convened to investigate all aspects of the allegations against Dupre, including whether he tried to cover up the abuse and whether he had abused any other children.

When Bennett announced in the spring that he would present the case to a grand jury, he initially conceded that it could be difficult to charge Dupre with abuse, because of the statute of limitations. But the prosecutor said later that Dupre could be charged because of his more recent attempts to conceal the alleged crimes.

Bennett said the investigation uncovered no evidence to suggest there were any other victims, nor was there evidence that any church officials were aware of the allegations until they became public earlier this year.

He also said that there was no evidence Dupre destroyed or concealed any evidence of sexual misconduct by other church officials.

The bishop's lawyer, Michael Jennings, said he would ask a judge to dismiss the charges against his client, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired.

"At the time of the alleged crimes, there was a six-year statute of limitations," Jennings said. "It's clear to me that this doesn't work for them."

According to the indictment, Dupre started raping one of the boys in 1976 in Chicopee and West Springfield; he started abusing the other boy in 1979 in West Springfield.

Dupre's alleged victims, who filed lawsuits against the bishop and the diocese, have said the abuse continued for years and that Dupre asked them to keep quiet about it when he was made auxiliary bishop in 1990.

Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the diocese, said Dupre's successor, Bishop Timothy McDonnell, would have no immediate comment on the indictments.

There have been at least a dozen grand jury investigations involving how bishops dealt with abuse claims, and four bishops have resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct. But Dupre was the first U.S. prelate indicted with molesting children.

After his retirement, Dupre went to St. Luke Institute, a private Catholic psychiatric hospital in Maryland where the Boston Archdiocese sent many priests for treatment after sexual abuse allegations were made against them. The institute treats priests with emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems.

Dupre's current whereabouts were not immediately known.
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Old 09-28-2004, 11:55 AM   #2
Timber Loftis
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statute of limitations in force at the time of the alleged crimes was limited to six years
This is not a "technicality." The statute of limitations is fundamental to law. At some point, any issue in society must be considered stale. Social planning requires it. The law is no different. After the statute of limitations has passed, there is no case. This is true in the case of a rape case older than six years, as seen here.

Take heart, this law also lets you know that someone you had a fight with 10 years ago won't show up and sue you today. The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in most jurisdictions I've run across is 3 years.

Murder has no statute of limitations -- so "cold cases" can crop up in those cases.

And, yes, I hate pedophiles too.

[ 09-28-2004, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: Timber Loftis ]
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:03 PM   #3
Memnoch
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Language, TL. Mate, I thought I swore a lot but you take the cake - you remind me of my dad. Cheers mate. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ 09-28-2004, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Memnoch ]
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:09 PM   #4
Timber Loftis
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I edited it. Hey, maybe your dad and I were sailors together -- that would explain the cussin.
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:12 PM   #5
johnny
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How do they get away with it ? 10 Hail Mary's i'd say.
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Old 09-28-2004, 12:54 PM   #6
Nightwing
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How do you deal with statue of limmitations in your every day job Timber? Do you have to come to a conclusion that we work within the framework of the law like it or not. At some point that's got to get to you I know it would me. To know someone or some company is guilty and they get to walk would be a tough part of the job.
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Old 09-28-2004, 01:30 PM   #7
Timber Loftis
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Nah, the rule makes sense most of the time. If you know you've got a legal claim and can't get your butt to court inside of 3 or 6 years, then you have volunteered to give up your claim -- you obviously don't want it. This rule was put in place so that people don't spend the rest of their lives worrying about that car accident they had or that contract they got in a fight over -- it allows closure. It also avoids fighting over stale evidence.

And, there are exceptions. In many cases, there is a "discovery rule" -- meaning the time period doesn't begin ticking until the injured party knows about their injury. Of course, the strong doctor's lobby has been able to obtain exceptions to the "discovery rule" in almost every state, but that's another story.

Where criminal law is concerned, though, it's simply a time dating to the date of the act. And, the legislature is free to change the rule whenever it sees fit.

[ 09-28-2004, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: Timber Loftis ]
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:16 PM   #8
Nightwing
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It sounds like there could be a grey area in cases of abuse and dicovery? When abused as a child it could be a long time before you feel safe to come forth.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:05 PM   #9
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The church can forgive them if they want but that doesn't mean they have to let be involved in any way with the church. Forgive them and send them to jail and let them take thier chances there.
That pretty much sums up my priest's comments on cases like this. (We're Anglican Communion, not Roman Catholic, btw). He's of the opinion that we should let people like this be tried by the state for the criminal acts and get spiritual healing/counseling from the church as needed.
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