Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Man Acquitted Of Molesting Girl Wants Parents Identified

NBC 30.com
May 16, 200

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A man acquitted of molesting a girl at a synagogue urged the Connecticut Appellate Court on Tuesday to unseal the names of the girl's parents, saying identifying them could help locate others accused by the parents.

Alfredo Vargas is suing the parents, accusing them of making false sexual abuse allegations against him in 2000. His attorneys said the parents have accused others of sexual abuse as well, but a court order sealing their names may prevent additional people from coming forward.

"We believe there are others," said Nathalie Feola-Guerrieri, attorney for Vargas. "In essence, the court's order does prevent the public from attending court proceedings. If the public doesn't know who the parties are, why would they even attend?"

Max Brunswick, an attorney for the parents, said the court order was appropriate to protect the girl's privacy. After Brunswick sought to seal the entire court record to protect the girl, a Superior Court judge in Bridgeport earlier this month agreed to replace the parents' names with pseudonyms.

"Anybody who is interested in this case has full access to the file," Brunswick said.

The Appellate Court heard arguments Tuesday, but did not issue a decision. Judge Barry Schaller pressed Brunswick on the privacy issue in a civil case involving the parents.

"Why should that mean the parents who in fact have different names should also have their names concealed from the public?," Schaller asked.

Brunswick said details of the child's medical evaluation would come out during the litigation.

Vargas, a 69-year-old handyman, spent about five years in prison fighting the case. Vargas was acquitted of the charges in a second trial in January after the first conviction was overturned.

Weeks before he was acquitted, the parents of the girl won a settlement that gave them the synagogue that Vargas had built by hand, temple leaders said. Vargas, an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua, was deported.

In his lawsuit, Vargas cites affidavits from a rabbi and another family who said the same parents made sexual abuse accusations against their children, though no one else was prosecuted.

Brunswick called the lawsuit a retaliation for the settlement.

For the latest news, stay tuned to NBC 30 Connecticut News and NBC30.com


Post a Comment

<< Home