|Deposition to Be Videotaped
Priest Accused of Abuse in Civil Trial
By Dave Altimari
March 5, 2008
The Rev. Stephen Foley will appear in Superior Court in Hartford during a civil trial in which he faces charges that he sexually abused an altar boy at his Bloomfield church — just not in person.
Foley's attorney, Walter Hampton, promised Judge Lois Tanzer on Tuesday that the priest will videotape a deposition in Virginia, where he apparently now lives.
Tanzer had ordered Hampton to appear in court Tuesday and reveal Foley's current address to attorneys for F. Glenn Sutherland, who is suing the Archdiocese of Hartford and Foley for allegedly molesting him in a Niantic cottage when Sutherland was an altar boy at Christ the King Church in the early 1970s.
Hampton's associate, Julie Strzemienski, told the judge previously that Foley "would prefer" not to appear in court, prompting Sutherland's attorney, Robert I. Reardon, to press the judge for an order that they turn over Foley's address.
Hampton said he was reluctant to do so.
"Foley wants to start a new life out of state and my concern is revealing his address will lead to the media following him around again," Hampton said. "We'll provide the address if there's an order issued by the court to protect Foley."
Foley had been living at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield until last March, when he was ordered to leave after The Courant reported he was driving around in a fully loaded Ford Crown Victoria, similar to what state police troopers drive.
The 11 men who have made allegations against Foley since 1993 contend that the priest lured them with his position as a state police chaplain and his police-equipped car. They were attracted by the lights and sirens, they said, and the access Foley had to fire and accident scenes, lawsuits allege. Most of the alleged incidents occurred during the 1970s, including those alleged by Sutherland.
Reardon said he spent more than $2,000 this past weekend trying to find Foley in Virginia and had been able to find only a post office box number. Public records indicate that Foley moved to Chantilly, Va., last fall but Reardon said in court that Foley is no longer at the most recent address listed for him.
"This is a man who was born in the Hartford area, raised in the Hartford area and who lived in the Hartford area until all of a sudden, very recently, he left and isn't coming back," Reardon said.
He sought a court order compelling Hampton to turn over Foley's address, but Hampton offered a compromise. He said Foley would be willing to show up at the Virginia law office where Reardon wanted the video deposition taken; in return, Hampton would not have to publicly reveal Foley's address.
Tanzer told the two sides to work out an agreement and get the deposition taken quickly. She then told the attorneys that jury selection was about to begin. Attorneys expect the trial to take two to three weeks once the eight jurors are chosen.
Sutherland appeared in court for the first time Tuesday and sat next to his attorney watching prospective jurors being led in for questioning. He now lives in the Baltimore area and works in the insurance business.
Sutherland is one of the two of Foley's accusers who didn't settle their cases when the archdiocese paid out more than $22 million to victims of several priests two years ago. The church has settled 11 claims against Foley for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell and former Archbishop Daniel Cronin are expected to be called as witnesses by Reardon.
Contact Dave Altimari at email@example.com
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