Dupre's Indictment Can't Be Used to Bolster Civil Suit

Capital News 9 [Springfield MA]
September 28, 2004

A grand jury indictment of Springfield's former bishop can't be used as ammunition in a civil lawsuit filed against the former head of the diocese.

An indictment unsealed this week charges Bishop Thomas Dupre with two counts of child rape dating back to the 1970s.

But just a few hours later, Hampden District Attorney William Bennett said he couldn't prosecute because the statute of limitations has run out.

A lawyer for the two men who said they were raped by Dupre said the findings of the grand jury investigation can't be used to bolster their lawsuit. That's because the indictment didn't result in a guilty plea or conviction.

However, some information, such as witness lists compiled by the DA's office for the probe, can be used in the civil case.

Legal experts said the charges may not be enough for out-of-state and federal authorities to prosecute Dupre.


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