Md. Priest Refuses to Obey Court Order

Washington Post
September 17, 1988

A Catholic priest who served a prison term for molesting three youths could be jailed again in Montgomery County Friday because of his conduct in a lawsuit filed against him and the Archdiocese of Washington by one of the victims' families.

The Rev. Peter M. McCutcheon, who confided in psychologists and fellow clerics about his pedophilia before his 1986 arrest, defied a court order Thursday that he free those counselors from their professional duty to remain silent.

The lawsuit accused the archdiocese of negligence in allowing McCutcheon to remain a parish priest. By taking depositions from the psychologists and clerics, attorneys for the family hope to learn whether church leaders were made aware of McCutcheon's pedophilia before his arrest in 1986.

McCutcheon's attorney has argued that his client can rightfully invoke the privileges of confidentiality between psychologists and their patients and between clerics and those seeking spiritual guidance.

Circuit Court Judge Stanley B. Frosh, who has ruled that neither privilege applies in McCutcheon's case, had scheduled a hearing yesterday to consider contempt sanctions.

Instead Judge Frosh asked both sides to submit legal briefs and scheduled a hearing for next Friday.


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