Online sex offender registries upheld
Supreme Court says Web sites do not punish criminals twice
MSNBC NEWS SERVICES WASHINGTON, March 5, 2003
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that states may put the names, pictures and addresses of convicted sex offenders on the Internet without unconstitutionally punishing them twice, a victory for states that use the Web to warn of potential predators in neighborhoods.
Oregon Bishop Barred From Asset Transfer
Posted on Mon, Feb. 03, 2003
BEND, Ore. - A judge on Monday barred the Roman Catholic Bishop for Eastern Oregon from transferring diocese assets to individual churches while facing nearly $70 million in claims for alleged sexual abuse by a priest. David Slader, attorney for the 18 plaintiffs, argued that Bishop Robert Vasa's plan to distribute the assets was an attempt to avoid the claims. He said Judge Michael Adler's ruling could set a precedent.
"Oregon is the test case the church is using for this asset protection strategy," he said. The 18 men are plaintiffs in a $60.8 million lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker alleging the late Rev. David Hazen sexually abused them as boys in the 1950s and 1960s.
Slader said tax records showed property held by the diocese was assessed at $19 million. Vasa says since taking over the diocese three years ago he has been working to transfer ownership of properties to the individual churches that use them, and never intended to avoid any future liabilities.
"These assets are not being dissipated. They are simply going to their rightful legal owner," said Greg Lynch, the diocese's attorney. "Don't get persuaded by the profound horror of the acts alleged to have occurred decades ago." The judge temporarily banned transfers by the diocese. A hearing on a permanent injunction is not expected for several months.
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